Peoria, IL,
10:54 AM

Jump Simulation launches STEM Saturdays Program

Junior high students get hands-on experience in Mini-Med School

About 25 sixth through eighth-grade students participated in the first Mini-Med School at Jump Simulation & Education Center Saturday, January 21st. The day-long course is part of an overall Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program launched at Jump to get young kids interested in medical and engineering careers earlier.

The first Mini-Med School course was specifically for junior high students. They got the opportunity to learn about all 11 systems of the body and were able to apply that knowledge in the anatomical skills lab where they got hands-on with anatomical specimens. Shannon Egli is the anatomical coordinator at Jump and organized the Mini-School event. He says it’s important to get kids interested in the STEM fields early.

It’s perfect because when you are looking at 6th through 8th graders, they are trying to transition into high school and what they are going to start focusing their interests on. So, if we can get them early into medicine, medical science or health sciences, then this is kind of a great opportunity. They come in, they play and think it’s a lot of fun. They get curious about it and the more they are curious, the more they want to learn.
Shannon Egli, Anatomical Coordinator at Jump Simulation & Education Center.

Faith Meghrian, sixth grade student at Dunlap Valley Middle School, says she wasn't sure what to expect from the Mini Med School when her mother signed her up. However, she says she's glad she got the opportunity to take part.

"Well, I think it’s really fun, especially when we were in the lab with the pigs and kind of dissecting them. It was really fun."

The course also aims to motivate learners to take an introspective look at their own health by using clinical tools and animal specimens to discover what’s happening in their own bodies and understand the importance of making healthy choices.

The Mini-Med School is just one of the many courses Jump is hosting as part of its STEM Saturdays Program. Upcoming classes include opportunities to experience what emergency responders do every day and how engineers are being more integrated in the medical field. More information is available at

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