It was the perfect teacher-student exchange. This spring, Frances L. Hannan, Ph.D., right, assistant professor of cell biology and anatomy who serves as associate professor and chair of the Biology Education Program, Touro Graduate School of Education, invited Ms. Amada Dreeben, a science teacher from Middle School 390 in the Bronx to New York Medical College to speak to a class of Master’s students in the Touro Biology Education program of her creative efforts in bringing science to life for her students.
Ms. Dreeben offered valuable advice on managing and educating students—and involving their parents—through hands-on, interactive, fun programs. She discussed such projects as growing butterflies from egg to adult and releasing them in the Bronx Public Gardens. Ms. Dreeben described her engaging energy program in which the students partner with their parents to study what life, from an energy perspective, was like in their native countries compared with their lives in New York City today.
In return, on May 26, Dr. Hannan hosted a cadre of Ms. Dreeben’s students, 30 sixth to eighth graders spanning a variety of academic levels, at NYMC for a day, offering a glimpse of the campus and community and working with them in the Medical Education Center modules to extract strawberry DNA—but not before they viewed a funny YouTube video outlining the procedure.
“You need to meet them partway,” explained Dr. Hannan. “And it worked. The students loved it—all of them, NYMC master’s students, biology education students, and middle school students alike. The MS 390 students were inspired by their visit to NYMC and many expressed a desire to return here as medical students in the future. I am grateful to Dr. Belloni [Francis L. Belloni, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences] for initiating the connection between Ms. Dreeben, NYMC and the Touro Biology Education program.”
Dr. Hannan enlisted the help of Petr Butkarev M.S., left, a biology education student, and Elona Dautaj M.D., right, a volunteer in Dr. Hannan’s laboratory, with the group of youngsters.