Guest Blog by Marney Babbitt, NAHEC Youth Program Coordinator and Girls on the Run of Northern Arizona Council Director at North Country HealthCare
On Tuesday May 3rd, students from the AT Still University Community Campus at North Country HealthCare (NCHC) visited Curt Craig’s 6th grade science classes at Mount Elden Middle School (MEMS). The medical students shared their experiences in education and medical school through hands-on activities where MEMS students learned about heart and lung sounds, reflexes, and protecting ear drums.
This visit was an activity of the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce Skills for Workplace Success (S4WS) program. North Country HealthCare and Curt Craig’s 6th grade science classes at MEMS are paired in this program and met four times throughout the 2015-2016 school year. The MEMS students learn about careers in the health care field. Additional presentations introduced MEMS students to Public Health, Orthopedic Surgery, and Telemedicine.
Thank you North Country HealthCare and the Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce!
The CAVIAT bioscience students from Williams High School toured TGen North on April 6th. Teacher Michael Lee brought the class to the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Flagstaff to learn about the research projects being done there and to tour the state-of-the-art research facilities.
TGen North and CAVIAT are key partners in a 3-year grant awarded to the Center for Science Teaching and Learning at NAU from the National Science Foundation. This project will test a model of community engagement in an innovative problem-based high school bioscience course. Other partners are North Country Health Care, the Northern Arizona Area Health Education Center, the Coconino County Health Department, and the Winslow Indian Care Center. You can read more about the iCREATE Project and how YOU can be a part of this initiative here.
NAU Undergraduate Erik Lemkuhl (below) describes his work to the students. Erik began at TGen in the prestigious Helios Scholars internship program last summer, and was so successful that TGen North hired him as a paid intern. Erik primarily works on Tuberculosis. Congratulations to Erik as he begins his doctoral work at the University of Arizona next semester.
Below, Mike explains the flow cell from the Illumina MiSeq sequencers. The flow cell contains the DNA libraries (samples) that TGen North is interested in sequencing. He also showed them the small USB-like sequencer called the Oxford Nanopore MinION. The technological advances since the Human Genome Project (1990-2003) are staggering, and the costs per sequence, time needed for each sequence, and sizes of the sequencers have all decreased dramatically.
Several of the students in the class are applying summer experiences, including a Health Camp. If you are in a health or bioscience profession and would be willing to have a student shadow you at your job or do an internship, please contact the STEM Coordinator.
Two STEM City Stars have received their advanced degrees from NAU. Sarah Burcher earned her Master's degree on April 20th and Aaron Tabor received his Doctorate on April 27th. Congratulations!
Aaron worked with Dr. Rob Kellar in both the NAU Tissue Engineering & Regenerative (TERM) Lab as well as at Development Engineering Sciences. His dissertation research was on using plate-rich-plasma on an electrospun collagen scaffold to aid in full thickness wound healing. Aaron also serves as an instructor at both Coconino Community College and Northern Arizona University!
You can read more about Sarah's and Aaron's contributions to STEM City and Killip Elementary School in this post from just over a year ago!