HS Students Do Advanced Science at Mt. Sinai Hospital
Each time I come across Whitehead, my heart sings; at the same time I wonder why so many sidestep his judicious idea that education is the art of being able to use the knowledge we have. Schooling’s “hidden curriculum” (students learn best and remember longest) misses the point, somehow.
Mount Sinai’s Center for Excellence in Youth Education (CEYE), located on the north end of its campus between Fifth and Madison, at 101 Street, has for 35 years practiced a philosophy of education based on student self-determination and ability to use knowledge in the broadest sense—in both workplace and classroom. Using Dyad Pedagogy, a novel arrangement of students working in dyads (two’s), CEYE’s rigorous biomedical science programs (all hands-on) foster growth and development of imagination, curiosity, creativity, and interest.
Over 10,000 students [since the program began in the late sixties] have learned state-of-the-art biomedical science and health care practices, mathematics and research design of epidemiology, along with the art of oral and written presentation. These curriculum goals are integrated with their personal goals of self-discovery to realize who they are and where they are heading.
Each year Mount Sinai’s CEYE serves over 300 Grade 7–16 students, working mainly with New York City Public Schools and public and private colleges and universities—a “pathway” from middle school right up to Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s doorstep and/or its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Each school partner accredits these academic programs. The optimal learning environment gives students access to a culturally diverse workforce and their life stories, points of view, beliefs, and values. Students and teachers use the Levy Library to expand their knowledge about the most up-to-date information and discoveries. All this takes place as students explore health careers in internships among patients, staff, physicians and scientists in a wide spectrum of scientific, clinical and educational areas of the medical center that comprises a 1,200-bed hospital, an ever-growing research facility, and a medical school that graduates a diverse student body of 140 each year. Public School teachers who work with CEYE develop their students’ course in collaboration with medical school faculty and CEYE staff.
Some of the courses offered in CEYE include internships for upper-level high school and college students; semester courses on subjects like the heart, cancer, diabetes, HIV life cycle, sickle cell, and obesity; introduction to research (fruit fly genomics); zebra fish toxicology; and environmental health where students explore the effects of social, physical and biological factors on the health and behavior of individuals, communities and populations.
All students who go on to college say they are well prepared, feel confident in class, out-perform their peers in research skills, teamwork, oral and written presentation, and know more than most about the science they study. At the end of the academic year and the summer program, students receive certificates for work completed at Mount Sinai. Over 60 physicians and hundreds of nurses and allied health professionals have come out of Mount Sinai’s CEYE. Whitehead must be smiling…#