PCOM Georgia Supports Gwinnett Schools ‘Team STEM’
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PCOM Georgia Supports Gwinnett Schools ‘Team STEM’


March 15, 2023

Dr. Andrea Mann with 3 middle school science fair attendeesClose to 1,000 Gwinnett County students experienced the theme “TEAM STEM” from the moment they stepped off their school buses at the Gas South District on February 24 and walked through a line of cheerleaders and a drumline keeping the beat. Sports teams’ mascots offered high fives to many of the students, all with winning science fair entries. This year’s 2023 Gwinnett Regional Science, Engineering + Innovation Fair showcased the talents of Gwinnett elementary, middle and high school students who completed more than 700 projects in 22 categories. Project classifications included animal science, biomedical and health science, energy sustainability, microbiology, translational medical science and many others.

As the presenting sponsor of the science fair since 2016, PCOM Georgia sent more than 70 volunteer students, faculty and staff members to participate as judges, healthcare panelists and engagement zone staffers this year. Bryan Ginn, chief campus officer, and Andrea Mann, DO, congratulated the students at lunch for their winning entries. Judges, wearing PCOM Georgia team jerseys, assessed the projects lining the exhibit halls.

Colleen Heer, assistant to the chief campus officer, said, “I was very impressed with the middle school projects,” noting that the projects she judged ranged from computer science to artificial intelligence to programming for disease diagnosis.

“I was blown away by the creativity and complexity of the projects this year,” Dr. Mann said. “As a judge, I found the students to be intelligent, hard-working, mature, and articulate. I am excited to see the contribution these young people will make in the future.”

PCOM student talks to students at Simbulance exhibitAn engagement zone featured the PCOM Georgia Simbulance along with lifelike mannequins. The School of Pharmacy offered students the opportunity to test their sugar knowledge, and the Department of Biomedical Sciences provided an activity entitled “How are bones the buried treasure of the body?” where students dug up parts of the skeleton and pieced them together.

Raj Sharma (MS/Biomed ’23) and Jonathan Griffin (MS/Biomed ’23) staffed the bones activity while answering questions like “What is your reason for earning a master’s degree and how many bones are in the body?” Jorie-Anne Morris (PharmD ’23) said she was surprised by the amount of sugar younger students consume. She noted that one student said he drank a bottle of Sprite every day, which totals 64 grams of sugar. Gwinnett County students were offered branded PCOM Georgia Rubik’s Cubes for their efforts.

A healthcare panel composed of PCOM Georgia students from the campus’ three doctoral programs educated high school students on healthcare careers. The doctoral students introduced themselves, explained why they chose their programs, and provided encouraging words to those planning to pursue careers in health care. High school students asked panelists a variety of questions including “What is the difference between MDs and DOs?,” “Why do doctors wear white coats?,” “What does osteopathic mean?,“ and “How much sleep did you get in college?” And the panelists answered their questions with ease.

One PCOM Georgia student shared that she once saw a billboard reading, “The science of medicine meets the soul of care,” a sentiment that resonated with her and pushed her toward a medical degree. Another PCOM Georgia student advised the high schoolers to know their “why” for pursuing a doctoral degree. ”All programs are difficult,” he said. “There will be days you question why you’re there.”

Panelists included Katherine Do, MS (DO ’25), Pooja Parikh (DO ’25), Kolson Lamb (DPT ’24), Jedera Nwoke (DPT ’24), Karlee Chandler (DPT ’24) and Andrew Wilson (PharmD ’24) with moderator Will Anderson (DO ’26).

On March 10, a dessert reception was held on the PCOM Georgia campus to present awards to regional science fair winners, including the six students who will go to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas, in May. More than 200 students, parents and Gwinnett County Public Schools faculty members attended the event.

To see a video recap of the science fair, which features Dr.  Mann, visit gwinnettsciencefair.com.

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  • About PCOM Georgia

    Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied 125-year history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees 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.

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