ThisWeek: Unique Partnership Brings Innovation to Education
Bringing new and innovative opportunities to students is always a part of the changing future. That’s why OhioHealth Pickerington Medical Campus is now going into their fifth year partnering with Pickerington Local School District.
This partnership has given the students an outstanding STEM program that includes classroom space, over 30 hours of shadowing OhioHealth medical professionals, guest lectures from staff and assistance with funding of space and supplies. The space in the Pickerington Medical Campus is rented out to the district for just one dollar per year. Recently, AEP gifted $35,000 to the OhioHealth Foundation to support this program as part of their philanthropic priority to boost STEM education.
Rob Davies, OhioHealth senior advisor, south core market, told ThisWeek News that “the modernized classroom is 2,000 square feet and includes classroom space, a conference room, a storage room and technology like microscopes, stress testing equipment, smart TVs and 3D printers.” All of the students in the program have an interest in the medical field and he believes that it is important for students to get a real understanding of what working in healthcare is like.
“We don’t just talk about what emergency rooms are like – they get to see it and really understand,” said Davies. “They get to work on real life research angles – looking at real cancer cells, researching with real DNA.”
Andy Harris, the Biomedical Science Coordinator for Pickerington schools told ThisWeek News that “more than 200 students have completed the program,” and they wanted to provide this opportunity for more of the best and brightest students. So now four Canal Winchester High School seniors will be joining the program this school year!
“All of these students are treated like this is an internship,” said Harris “At the end of the day, our main goal is to get these kids jobs in the job market. OhioHealth, they have a big stake in this because they want to hire kids, and it’s one of those situations where everybody wins and more minds create better outcomes.”
This program has been mutual beneficial over the past four years. “The associates really enjoy spending time with the students as well learning from the students. We are constantly reminded of how bright the students are,” said Davies.
“OhioHealth values being a part of the Pickerington community. We want to actively participate in fostering the community to achieve its goals and needs. We look at our unique partnership as a way to help foster and mentor the future of healthcare,” said Davies
This program has helped enhanced the education of these students and given them unbelievable experience and opportunity. OhioHealth hopes to continue this program through the years and maybe one day expand throughout all of OhioHealth.
To learn more about the Pickerington STEM program and Canal Winchester students now being involved, click on the ThisWeek News logo.