MESA WSU Spokane Health Sciences Day


Seventh Graders at WSU Spokane

On April 27, seventh grade MESA students from the Cheney and Spokane school districts arrived at WSU’s Spokane campus for an immersive Health Sciences day. MESA stands for Math, Engineering, Science Achievement and serves underrepresented populations across the state, supporting middle school and high school students into STEM college and career pathways. During this campus visit, WSU faculty, staff, undergraduate health sciences students, and MESA staff led middle school students through a variety of Health Sciences related hands on experiences.


Dr. Sylvia Oliver and Jeff Godsey from Project Lead the Way, guided students through the dissection of preserved sheep hearts. Additionally, students collected and analyzed data by monitoring their own blood oxygen levels and heart rate using pulse oximeters and stethoscopes.  Anna Brown, the Academic Coordinator for Speech and Hearing Sciences, guided students through an immersive experience detailing the impacts of Traumatic Brain Injury. Students then learned strategies to better protect their brains from concussion. In an interactive "sugar shockers "presentation, led by Jill Wagner, the Academic Coordinator for Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, students dove into the addictive and damaging effects of sugar. Undergraduate students Brandon Hogan, Wendy Allison, Brady Green, Jeremy Jackson, and Annie Mach contributed their personal stories related to pursuing a career in the health sciences. 


Representing the School of Medicine, Associate Dean, Dr. Dawn Dewitt, led students through a human body game, and described different pathways in the fields of medicine, including her own experiences working in Australia, Canada, and the United States. Pharmacy major, Taylor Goodman, guided students in compounding their own lip balm with flavors such as mango, and minty-lime!

Recent 2017 School of Nursing graduates, Jordyn Bonertz, Kayla Moormon, and Kelsey Mosier highlighted a variety of nursing professions, and described the responsibilities nurses have when caring for their patients. The nursing students also revealed how handwashing can be under-effective for preventing the spread of disease if not done properly. This was illustrated by squirting an invisible dye on the students’ hands, directing the students to wash as they typically would, and then shining a black light on hands to “reveal” the germs that did not get washed away.

Partnering students and teachers with STEM professional experts in authentic contexts is an innovative educational practice that engages and informs, while showcasing possible college and career pathways.



To learn more about ways your company can work with students and teachers in the community, contact the WSU Spokane MESA office at (509)358-7966.  Or visit MESA's webpage.

Director: Brenda VanSlyke


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