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College Hosts Virtual Summer STEM Camp 
PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy


June 24, 2021
PCOM's SMSA STEM camp allowed Philadelphia area youth to interact with medical students and learn anatomy lessons.

PCOM's week-long summer program is designed to increase awareness of STEM+M careers for underrepresented high school students.


Recently, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) hosted its annual Science and Math Summer Academy for local high school students. This week-long program was designed to increase awareness of STEM+M (science, technology, engineering, math, plus medicine) careers for underrepresented high school students. The program included 32 high school students from across the Philadelphia area and featured an interactive curriculum with activities ranging from a virtual brain lab, interview opportunities with current PCOM students and an opportunity to present research to peers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was virtual.

“Overall the program was a huge success,” shared Alicia Hahn-Murphy, MS, diversity and inclusion program coordinator and director of this year’s program. “I was particularly impressed by these students as they had just completed their school year the Friday before the program began. They were very involved in all the activities, they asked great questions and they were excited to share what they learned with their peers,” continued Ms. Hahn-Murphy.

The Summer Academy aims to create a pathway to foster interest in STEM+M careers among minority students who are often underrepresented in medicine. This year’s class of students included tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders from across the Philadelphia area. Several students are also a part of the HPREP (health professions exposure) program organized by PCOM admissions and the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Esperanza College also helped PCOM recruit students for this year’s program.

“I didn’t have anything like this when I was in high school,” shared Alana Franco (DO ‘24), lead mentor of this year’s program. “I am happy that the students were able to get a lot out of the program and that they were excited to be involved in these activities,” continued Ms. Franco.

After a week of interactive programming, students were invited to present research on a number of current public health topics including healthy sleep patterns, maternal mortality in Black women, and vaccine hesitancy. Students were also invited to complete a brief survey on their time in the program. Many students shared that learning about the various careers in the field inspired them to pursue a career in healthcare. One student shared “All the mentors were so welcoming and being in such a large group filled with POC [people of color] was empowering.”

All students who participated in the Science and Math Summer Academy will be invited to come on campus in the fall to continue their learning and participate in additional hands-on activities. PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia are also hosting Summer Math and Science Academies on their respective campuses.

This year’s Science and Math Summer Academy was sponsored by 3M, Hologic (donations were split between PCOM and PCOM Georgia) and Christopher Ludwick Foundation.

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

    For more information, contact:
    Daniel McCunney
    Associate Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: danielmc1@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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