The Biomaterials Lab hosted an afternoon focused on medical device innovation for high school students visiting as part of the Health Science Museum’s Faces of Innovation: Global Teen Medical Summit. High school students from grades 9 to 12 participated in the program to learn more about cutting edge technologies and their impact on modern healthcare. The Biomaterials Lab proudly provided a focus on 3D printing technologies and careers in medicine. In addition, the Lab enlisted the help of the Rice 360o and their NEST360o team to showcase design challenges and innovations to serve low-resource communities across the globe.
On Wednesday, the Lab welcomed 32 high school students for the afternoon. Their time at the Lab begin with a presentation from Dr. Anthony Melchiorri as he introduced the many applications of 3D printing in medicine, from surgical planning to fabricating living artificial organs. After the brief introduction to these applications, the students had an opportunity to tour both the Biomaterials Lab and the NEST360o Showroom. Graduate students in the Biomaterials Lab demonstrated the use of 3D printers for medical device and tissue engineering applications. In the NEST360o showroom, members of the Rice 360o program showed the students the suite of technologies the program has developed to help reduce newborn mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.
Following the laboratory tours and demonstrations, experts and innovators from around Rice University and the Texas Medical assembly participated in a career and education panel for the students. Panelists included Dr. Sabia Abidi, PhD, of Rice University; Dr. Mehdi Razavi, MD, from the Texas Heart Institute and Baylor College of Medicine; Chris Sylvester, a graduate student in the Grande-Allen Lab, of Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine; and Melody Tan, a graduate student of the Richards-Kortum Lab at Rice University. Students asked excellent questions ranging from how to finance a graduate education (a good PhD program should pay for itself!) to how do you pick the right career path (don’t be afraid to try new opportunities in research, internships, and education to know what you like to do and, importantly, what you don’t like to do!).
The Biomaterials Lab wishes all the students best of luck in their future educations and careers!