Gonzalo Perez, a DeBakey Cell Lab educator at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, instructs students with the Faces of Innovation: Global Teen Medical Summit, how to perform the laboratory experiments.
Gonzalo Perez, a DeBakey Cell Lab educator at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, instructs students with the Faces of Innovation: Global Teen Medical Summit, how to perform the laboratory experiments.
Students sat at multiple spaces, including this one which stained cheek cells.
Students sat at multiple spaces, including this one which stained cheek cells.
The other hands-on activity during the morning session was dissecting a cow's eye. One of the tasks was removing the iris by cutting around it.
The other hands-on activity during the morning session was dissecting a cow's eye. One of the tasks was removing the iris by cutting around it.
Innovation

Students get inside look at medical center during Faces of Innovation teen summit

Students get inside look at medical center during Faces of Innovation teen summit

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When a group of high schoolers go home to their parents tonight, they will be able to say they spent part of their day eye-to-cow’s-eye.

About 100 teenagers in grades nine through 12 are part of the Faces of Innovation: Global Teen Medical Summit, in its seventh year. The summit is hosted by the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, known as The Health Museum.

The weeklong program will have the teens going from one end of the Texas Medical Center to the other, as well as Rice University, touring various laboratories and medical schools and performing hands-on experiments like dissecting a cow’s eye and testing blood at The Health Museum’s DeBakey Cell Lab .

“Nowhere else can you experience all of this as a young person,” said Amy Kapadia, senior program manager for the education and public programs at The Health Museum. She has been with the museum for 13 years.

While in the DeBakey Cell Lab, the students could be heard debating the correct way to swab their cheek for cells and how many drops of antibacterial solution is needed to effectively kill bacteria.

Over in the second-floor meeting room, it was a little more active with exclamations of, “It’s slimy!” and, “Oh my!” as students cut around the iris of a cow’s eye. Some got right in there with the scissors, while others took a more ginger approach to separating the iris.

Many of the students, some of whom traveled from overseas to participate in the summit, are attending because they have a passion for health care, said Bridget Haney, an intern with The Health Museum, who is also one of the mentors for the summit.

“They want to do something in the medical field, so many of the things we are doing, such as the DeBakey Cell Lab, will help them determine if this is a good fit for them and give them an idea of if they want to do this in life,” she added.

Later this week, the students will travel to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to participate in sessions and visit the School of Health Professions and will tour places like The Houston Methodist Research Center, the Baylor Orthotics and Prosthetics lab and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

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