Local middle school students recently had the opportunity to explore careers in the medical field during the first-ever St. Luke’s Miners STEM Expo.
Held on Oct. 12 at the St. Luke’s Miners Campus, the free event was open to local middle school students in Grades 4 to 7 who are curious about local careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“The vision of Dr. Joanne Calabrese, this event targets young minds with interests in STEM, and provides an opportunity for us to reinforce the concepts learned in the classroom in a fun, hands-on way,” says Wendy Lazo, St. Luke’s Miners President.
During the St. Luke’s Miners STEM Expo, attendees learned about the wide range of career opportunities available in the medical field, such as those in radiology, emergency medicine, cardiology, rural health and surgical services. They engaged in hands-on activities and heard from experts in the field through career conversations.
Twenty-five middle schoolers from Tamaqua, Coaldale, New Ringgold, Lehighton, Pottsville, Lansford, Summit Hill, Weatherly, Mahanoy City, Schuylkill Haven, Nesquehoning, Shenandoah and Minersville participated in the expo.
Emmalee Pinkey, a fifth-grader from Shenandoah, said the event was a good combination of fun and learning.
“I really enjoyed the STEM event,” Pinkey says. “I know I want to do something in the medical field, but I didn’t know there were so many options. Everyone was so nice I and I learned so much.”
Jeannine Brown, Emmalee’s mother, found the St. Luke’s Miners STEM Expo to be a very valuable experience for the middle schoolers.
“It’s awesome that St. Luke’s wants to introduce our children to jobs in the medical field,” says Brown, a Physician Liaison with St. Luke’s University Health Network.
“There is such a shortage of doctors, nurses, lab techs, radiology techs and others that it’s key to involve our youth at such a young age. Many people don’t know these great jobs exist in their backyard.”
Lazo explains that St. Luke’s is always looking for ways to engage students in the healthcare field.
“Our highly engaged medical team and staff enjoy bringing their passion for medicine to the community,” Lazo says. “Our STEM Expo was a great opportunity to do just that.”
About St. Luke’s
Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and 300 outpatient sites. With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus. It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 34 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 263 residents and fellows. St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction. St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital. In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals. St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program. Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.