Bleeding disorders are still not common knowledge even though they affect a large number of people- both men and women. This is the reason behind our new high school outreach program. We recently visited a grade 11 class at local high school to offer an engaging and dynamic presentation on bleeding disorders in order to raise awareness about them.
Our program is designed by blood researchers to educate students about genetics and inherited bleeding disorders. In just one class period our researchers cover everything from Hemophilia to VWD and also provide them with the tools to find more resources. We even invite students to participate in a microscope activity for a little hands on learning! “The microscope activity seemed to be the most popular”, notes Julie Grabell (CCRP, Clinical Research Assistant to Dr. Paula James) who administered our first presentation.
When we first set out to offer the program we weren’t sure how the students would react, but we were pleasantly surprised. “The [students] responded quite positively. They seemed engaged and interested in the material” said Julie. Julie also notes that the students asked some great questions:
“There were several good questions. One of them was about white blood cells. They had been told that too many white blood cells in a blood sample could indicate an infection or Leukemia. One student asked how you could tell the difference between what the cause was.”
We encouraged questions because we know that students learn better when they can engage and interact with the subject or idea being taught. That’s also the reason why we incorporated a microscope activity into the program, which they loved:
“They really got into looking at the blood films and identifying the different components of blood. We heard a lot of comments here “this is cool” etc. They also liked answering the kahoot trivia questions about the material.”
To keep the momentum going and to see how much they observed during our presentation, we threw in a fun trivia at the end. Julie noted that the students liked the idea of testing each other’s’ knowledge and showed a lot of interest in the activity.
Overall our first presentation was a success and we walked away from it with greater insight into what engages high school students most. It was great to see students respond to the interactive style of our presentation as we had hoped.
“We hope it was a good opportunity for the students to learn about research as well as seeing how the biology they have been learning about in class fits into real life”
With the first trial of the program behind us, we’re looking forward to future class visits!
Let’s Talk Period’s goal is to provide a safe space for students to learn in an interactive way, while also empowering additional thought and discussion about genetics and bleeding. The Self-BAT was designed so you can assess yourself and better understand current or previous bleeding episodes.
To learn more or to continue the conversation, please get in touch with us by writing to us at the bottom of our website homepage. Join our communities on Facebook and Instagram to get regular information about bleeding disorders and help other women be empowered by this knowledge.