Ascension Parish students come together through gifted program
Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant high schools that differ in sports and academic views came together through their academically gifted students for a learning experience recently.
Freshmen and sophomores earned points in their gifted classes to be eligible for the trip to Louisiana State University Medical School located in New Orleans. Students participated in a variety of activities and simulations throughout the day. Leslie Cappo, director of Information
Services at LSU Health Sciences Center, led one of the two groups of students on a tour of the complex. Valerie Fontenot, a student in the LSU School of Public Health, led the other group of gifted students.
The Clinical Skills Lab was one of several stops for students. Daryl P. Lofaso, Med, RRT and coordinator of the Clinical Skills Lab equipped each student with a stethoscope and a human simulator. Various patient care scenarios were staged and students assessed common respiratory and circulatory problems heard in the hearts and lungs of simulator patients.
The state-of-the-art Isidore Cohn, Jr., MD, Learning Center was the setting for hands-on experience with human simulators and computerized instruction. Students interviewed the “simulator patient” and had to respond with CPR when monitors indicated that his condition was critical.
In the Genetics Lab, Dr. Paula Gregory, associate professor, talked about current research involving genetic disorders of the Acadians of Southwest Louisiana. The Ascension students used the lab equipment to collect and replicate DNA samples to solve a simulated crime.
Associate Dean Joseph Delcarpio PhD spoke to the students about the admissions process and the curriculum addressed during each year of medical school. Second year medical students also spoke to students about their experiences in medical school. The medical students stressed the importance of developing good reading and study habits for success in medical school and college.
East Ascension High School TAG student Darian Gautreaux said, “Overall it was a great learning experience that really got me thinking about my future and the career and educational goals I would like to achieve, and above all it was pretty fun.” St. Amant High School TAG student Kristin Moore added, “My favorite part was learning how to save lives using the simulators.”
This is the second year of the Ascension Parish High School TAG pilot. The program was expanded this year to meet the needs of 10th graders at high schools in the parish. The pilot is based on a consultative model focused on course mapping, extended learning opportunities, and college and career planning.