Photo Essay: Discovery Day 2019
Local high school students experience hands-on learning at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine
Eager to uncover the boundless possibilities of a future career in medicine and health sciences, over 200 local high school students visited Roger Guindon Hall on May 31, 2019 to explore the only faculty of medicine in Ottawa.
As a host of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) Discovery Day, the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine offered young science enthusiasts from Grades 9 to 12 an interactive day of workshops, career panels and keynote addresses delivered by our top-notch researchers, clinicians and educators in a real-life work setting.
This was the first event of its kind at the Faculty, so we followed a few students to attempt to see the event through their eyes.
9:00 A.M.: KEYNOTE ADDRESSES
The day starts bright and early with two keynote addresses: one in English on “Rare Diseases and Genomic Medicine” by Dr. Alex MacKenzie, professor of pediatrics and senior scientist at CHEO Research Institute; and another in French by Dr. Marceline Coté, professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology at uOttawa.
10:00 A.M.: MORNING WORKSHOPS
Grade 10 student Shaoni Chakraborty from Colonel By High School chooses “The Immunology of Blood” for her morning workshop. She and her classmates dive right into the hands-on lab work to test and identify the blood type of several mock donors from artificial samples.
Chakraborty says she’s already pretty sure she wants to attend the University of Ottawa for something science-related.
“I really enjoy lab work,” explains Chakraborty. “The science community is such a huge community and there are still so many new things to discover.”
Along with Chakraborty, Grade 9 students Noor Abdalla and Joshua Cheruvathur are also from Colonel By High School. Despite being in their freshmen year, both students already have their hearts set on pursuing careers in the sciences.
“I’m interested in medicine,” says Abdalla. “I came to Discovery Day to find out more about the MD program. These workshops give a better understanding of what university is really like.”
“Math and science are what I enjoy the most—and get good grades in,” adds Cheruvathur. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in the field of science and make an impact through patient care and research.”
Chakraborty, Abdalla and Cheruvathur are all headed for the same workshop in the afternoon, “Parkinson’s Disease Under the Microscope.”
A total of 10 Anglophone and six Francophone workshops were offered in the morning session of Discovery Day at the Faculty of Medicine.
11:30 A.M.: LUNCH & MINGLE
Grade 11 student Koko Zahinda from Sir Robert Borden High School uses her lunch hour to reflect on what she has learned in the morning, and shares some insights from her Discovery Day experience so far.
“These workshops show us what science in real life is really like,” says Zahinda, who has been touring many university science and engineering programs across the province. “I find myself more attracted to the human side of the sciences so I’m thinking about a career as a nurse or doctor.”
12:30 P.M.: AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS
After lunch, Zahinda heads for the “Movement and the Brain” workshop and gets to test out lab equipment that measures and quantifies her muscle and motion responses.
Meanwhile, Chakraborty, Abdalla and Cheruvathur are learning about the characteristics of Parkinson’s disease through applying dyes to brain tissues and analyzing them under microscopes.
“This workshop is even more interesting!” says Cheruvathur, who likes the detail and complexity of neuroscience.
A total of 13 Anglophone and nine Francophone workshops were offered in the afternoon session of Discovery Day at the Faculty of Medicine.
2:00 P.M.: CAREER PANELS – “HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TELL ALL”/ “EXPERTS IN PUBLIC HEALTH”
Two expert panels, one Anglophone and one Francophone, share insights and perspectives about the diversity of careers and opportunities in science. It is a highlight for many of the students, which is demonstrated by the dozens of questions the panelists receive.
3:15 P.M.: FAREWELL
CMHF Discover Day concludes in high spirits as the next generation of scientists and doctors bring both curiosity and vigor to the field of medicine and medical research.