Texas A&M PEER Program Promotes Veterinary Medicine At Franklin ISD STEAM Night

Story by Megan Myers, CVMBS Communications

BIMS students talking to elementary students across a table covered with preserved animal models

The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVMBS) Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health (PEER) program introduced 670 elementary students to the world of veterinary medicine at the Franklin ISD Elementary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) Night on Nov. 8.

By taking advantage of the young students’ interest in animals, CVMBS professor Dr. Larry Johnson and PEER student fellows Megan Mize and Natalie Johnson were able to hold interactive discussions on animal anatomy, veterinary medicine, and the path to veterinary school.

“We taught students about the anatomy of different animals using actual preserved animal models,” Natalie Johnson said. “We used the models to point out different organs and to compare the relative size of different organs in different animals, such as comparing the size of a dog’s heart with a cow’s heart.”

The event was Johnson’s first hands-on science demonstration for kids, and she now looks forward to representing PEER and the CVMBS at similar events.

“The students were so interested in everything we were showing them and loved actually getting to touch the organs that make up the anatomy,” she said. “It was amazing to see their fascination with the models and to watch as their eyes got wide when they realized that they were real, preserved animals.”

Mize has been working with PEER for two years and has attended many similar events, but she says the experience of introducing kids to veterinary medicine is as exciting every time.

“Each time I speak with the kids and their families I am blessed with the chance to see the beginning of someone’s interest in the STEM field,” Mize said. “My favorite part of these events is the look of excitement that each student has as they play the various games and identification exercises we provide.

“The PEER program has been one of my most valuable experiences as an undergraduate student because it has provided me with the opportunity to spark the interest of much younger students in the vast field of medicine,” she said.

Mize and Johnson, both biomedical sciences (BIMS) majors, also used the Franklin ISD STEAM Night to promote the BIMS major as a useful tool for preparing for veterinary school.

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For more information about the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our website at vetmed.tamu.edu or join us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of CVMBS Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; jgauntt@cvm.tamu.edu; 979-862-4216


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