Bringing the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre to the Community
St. Boniface Hospital Research has demonstrated a commitment to bringing the ideas and expertise of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre out into our community. By extending ourselves beyond the walls of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre, we aim to:
- Connect the public to research in their community
- Broaden public awareness of the roles of St. Boniface Hospital and St. Boniface Hospital Research
- Share our research and passion for science
- Create an understanding of the nature of science and the science behind health
- Contribute to scientific and health literacy within the public
- Demonstrate the contribution of our research programs to society
- Make science education and expertise accessible for students, teachers and the general public
Through the efforts of several principal investigators, the St. Boniface Hospital Research staff, and with the support of the St. Boniface Hospital & Research Foundation, we have been actively involved in designing and implementing various outreach programs throughout the city, with a special focus on the Hospital’s local community.
Partnering With Our Community: It’s All About Me
A significant part of our school program began in 2005, through a unique partnership with the Louis Riel School Division (LRSD). Along with classroom teachers and school administrators, we developed a formal outreach initiative designed to connect our work at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre with the science that students learn in class. The name of this program, It’s All About Me, reflects the idea that the health science and medicine of St. Boniface Hospital have a personal connection to students and their science learning. Louis Riel contains 37 elementary and high schools in the St. Boniface and St. Vital neighbourhoods, and together we developed and implemented programs that now reach over
4000 students per year. Steve Jones, former technician in the Molecular Cardiology Lab and a certified teacher, has led this initiative from the SBRC side, and has worked with teachers, administrators and SBRC staff to bring everything from cells and DNA to diabetes and cardiovascular disease out to our community schools. We strive for a hands-on, interactive and curriculum-based ‘scientist-in-residence’ approach that goes beyond a ‘guest speaker’ to actively involve students, parents and teachers in the work of the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre.
Combined with the support of St. Boniface Hospital Research and the Louis Riel School Division, the It’s All About Me partnership has received a three-year Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada PromoScience grant to continue this unique initiative. By the end of the 2009-2010 school year, we have brought the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre out to every school in LRSD and beyond and hopefully made connections that raise both interest and understanding of the work we do throughout our community.