Counselor brings medical professions to students

Doctors and nurses are what come to mind when thinking about the medical field, but Natasha McLaurin, counselor at Buckner Terrace Montessori, wanted to expand those options for the students at her school. 

She noticed that there was a gap in knowledge in a range of careers outside of doctors and nurses. She set out to expose students to people who looked like them and to bring more awareness to the variety of careers in the medical field. 

She established a partnership with Children’s Health and, with the help of employees from the hospital, McLaurin created a model they called “Medical Explorers Day,” which took place recently.

McLaurin and her team laid the groundwork, scheduled times, and created an event that included different stations highlighting the variety of careers in the medical field. Students got to work with dummies, for example, and heard the simulation of a baby’s heartbeat through a stethoscope. 

“The students got to use manipulatives on campus,” McLaurin said. “They actually did kinesthetic learning that made it relevant to them and captured their attention.” 

Students got to participate in age-appropriate interactive activities and simulations that mimicked real life health scenarios. They also got to see an ambulance up close and personal and had the chance to interact with emergency professionals that work in these types of environments. 

McLaurin said that some of her future hopes for students are that they remember this experience, make connections and possibly go into one of these career paths—maybe even save a person’s life. 

She attributed much of the success of the event to her administrators.

“My hope is that this serves as a catalyst to explore STEM, as there are a plethora of opportunities in the medical field,” said Cassie White Rodriguez, assistant principal at Buckner Montessori, who helped make the event happen. 

Sparking a love for STEM that the students didn’t know they had and making learning fun and relevant are two of the takeaways McLaurin said she hopes resulted from the event.


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