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High school students learn about embryonic stem cells with lab technician Carl Olson.

Discovery Days an eye opener for high school students

November 14, 2016 — 

Last week the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne campus hosted nearly 300 high school students and teachers from 81 schools across Winnipeg and the province for Discovery Days in Health Sciences.

The annual event, hosted by the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and organized by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame gives Grade 11 and 12 students a chance to interact with health professionals in their research labs and teaching spaces on the Bannatyne campus and in other affiliated sites like Red River College, Misericordia Hospital, and the St-Boniface Hospital Research Centre BioLab.

For Kalie Peters, a Grade 11 student from Collège Jeanne-Sauvé, and Kendrick Amoyo, a Grade 12 student from St. Boniface Diocesan High School, Discovery Days was a great opportunity to learn more about pursuing a career in medicine.

“I want to be a doctor so I thought this would be a good opportunity to figure out how to go about doing that,” Peters said. “I’m interested in genetics and microbiology and I’m hoping to specialize in that.”

As someone who will be graduating soon, Amoyo – who is also interested in a career in medicine – wanted to get more information.

“Last year some of our friends went and said they had fun,” Amoyo said. “It’s our last year and we wanted to experience a lot of different things. We saw this event come up and there were a few things that interested us and that was the main reason for coming.”

In the opening remarks keynote speaker Dorothy Yu, a third-year medical student and recipient of a 2016 Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award, recommended students with an interest in medicine should broaden their range of interests to become more well-rounded health-care professionals.

“I encourage you to jump out of your comfort zone,” Yu said. “Do research in other areas. For example, I took a philosophy course. The projects from outside my comfort zone taught me the most.”

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