PCOM Georgia ‘Goes Big’ at Atlanta Science Festival
Skip to main content

PCOM Georgia ‘Goes Big’ at Atlanta Science Festival

April 7, 2023

A young child participates in a counting activityThunderstorms in the early morning of Saturday, March 25 belied the beautiful day it would become as PCOM Georgia shone brightly at the Atlanta Science Festival, which attracted about 18,000 attendees to Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta. A PCOM Georgia festival organizer, Darnae Parks, director of Diversity and Community Partnerships, lauded students and employees alike for their “efforts to bring PCOM Georgia to the Greater Atlanta Community.”

Earlier in the year, Dean and Chief Academic Officer Andrea Mann, DO, had challenged the campus to “Go Big” for the annual event resulting in the campus upping its sponsorship and hosting nine exhibit booths.

PCOM Georgia has had a booth at the festival for the past several years. However, this year, Kim Lucier, director of operations, Jodi Scott, director of communications for the Office of Admissions, and Parks spearheaded planning meetings beginning last fall and challenged each PCOM Georgia program to provide an activity to engage children and represent the college to the thousands of attendees.

PCOM Georgia's 9 booths at the festivalOne hundred and thirty seven PCOM Georgia students, faculty and staff worked the booths, which attracted “huge crowds,” Lucier said. Calling the event a “mini team-building activity with our PCOM family,” she added, “An amazing unintended result was that all the programs worked harmoniously to achieve the same goal. The laughter and smiles were contagious as I watched the interactions with all the participants at our booths.”

“While the kids made slime to learn about blood or dug for bones in the sand, parents could be heard asking our students about their programs and how they chose their career path,” she noted.

Calling the event “the biggest volunteer effort in PCOM Georgia’s history,” Parks said, “The smiles and the ‘lightbulb’ moments that I witnessed made a lasting impression on me. We made a difference in people’s lives on Saturday. Teamwork makes the dream work. I am PCOM Georgia proud!”

Activities included demonstrations of how medical laboratory scientists view blood cells and types of blood cells under a microscope, while learning how blood contributes to a diagnosis by providers. There were skeleton-naming and prescription-filling activities. Attendees built a lung model and learned what happens when you take a breath. Participants guessed the amount of sugar in various foods and beverages to increase awareness of diabetes.

A child explores the Simbulance exhibitKids made slime, while learning about the various blood components including red and white blood cells and platelets. They dug up bones and learned why bones are the buried treasure of the body. Physical therapy students conducted strength, flexibility, posture and balance assessments, while the Community Wellness Initiative booth offered blood pressure checks. In fact, this exhibit was so popular that attendees were lined up for blood pressure checks at the end of the festival! As always, the Simbulance and mannequins attracted a steady stream of visitors.

Daniela Gutierrez (DO ’26) said, “It made me very proud to be part of an institution that does so much for the Atlanta population.” Gutierrez helped staff the blood pressure booth where adults were invited to get free blood pressure checks. “We were so busy. It makes me happy to be of service and get the community to understand the importance of watching your cardiovascular health,” she said.

PCOM Georgia representative plays catch with a childOne of her favorite memories of the day was interacting with two brothers who said they wanted to practice medicine when they grew up, which prompted PCOM Georgia students to place their white coats on the children. “It was the cutest thing,” she said.

Dr. Mann thanked the volunteers for representing PCOM Georgia “in a big, huge way!” She added, “We definitely did what we set out to do. PCOM Georgia proud, for sure! And a special thank you to Kim and Darnae for their boots-on-the-ground leg work. It was a mountain to move, and they did it with skill and grace.”

You May Also Like:

About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.

Contact Us

Jamesia Harrison, MS
Assistant Director, News and Media Relations
Email: jamesiaha@pcom.edu
Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 470-572-7558

Connect with PCOM Georgia