As the summer winds down to a close, it’s back to school season here in Philadelphia as students make their way back into the classrooms. For the students in CEPI’s youth programs, summer was a busy time full of networking, career building, and learning outside the classroom. Today’s article is the first of a two-part series spotlighting the achievements of two of our youth programs. Our first focus is on the Karabots Junior Fellows Program.
Our current cohort of the Karabots Junior Fellows Program was extremely busy during the summer. Many spent part of their summer taking part in internships where they assisted various departments of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Regular readers have seen the fruits of some of their efforts in the form of articles for CEPI Curiosities on the difference between venom and poisons, the lives of Chang and Eng Bunker, and the story of Harry Eastlack and his battle with FOP (fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva). Other internships included developing educational and public programs, creating social media content, cataloging specimens in the Mütter Museum collection, designing materials for library researchers, inventorying stock in the Museum Store, transcribing videos on the Mütter Museum’s YouTube channel to make them accessible to more viewers, and strengthening donor relations. On August 2, the College of Physicians hosted a version of Murder at the Mütter, our annual forensic-science themed murder mystery event, for students in the Franklin Institute’s STEM Scholars Program. The event was developed, promoted, and implemented by several of our Karabots Interns.
During the middle of August, the Fellows reconvened as a group to share their summer experiences together and take part in a two-week series of healthcare and medical-themed activities. This year’s theme was “Many Bodies, One Health.” Based in part on the One Health Initiative, a program designed to encourage coordination between public health officials, environmental experts, and human and veterinary healthcare professionals to prepare for possible future zoonotic disease outbreaks, our programming focused on bodily systems and emphasized the similarities, differences, and overall interconnectedness of humans and animals. Over their two weeks they studied the structure and function of parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, eyes and ears, through examining models and performing dissections. Among other activities they also learned how to lead healthier lives with lessons on aerobic exercise, yoga, self-hypnosis, and nutrition (the latter they learned from nutrition student and KJF alum Sarah Lumbo). The Fellows met with healthcare professionals at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Karabots Pediatric Care Center and the Physical Therapy Department at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions and hosted experts from the Penn SUMR Scholars Program; they also met with animal guests, including a therapy dog, several pet snakes, and a talkative bird.
As a way of tracking their progress, we periodically had them write down something that had learned which they then added to our “Bodies of Knowledge,” images of human and animal bodies from medical works posted on our bulletin board. Over the course of the two weeks, they managed to fill these bodies with facts related to anatomy, physiology, and personal health. They left the session with newfound knowledge to better prepare them for their futures in medicine.
Be sure to check back in tomorrow as we examine what our Teva Pharmaceuticals Interns were up to this summer.