It’s a question that many teenagers dread: What do you want to be when you grow up?
To help answer it, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the University at Buffalo teamed up Saturday to help families learn more about careers and internship opportunities in clinical care, research, education and entrepreneurship in the hospitals, research institutes and other organizations on the medical campus. More than 500 parents and children attended.
“Our goal is to expose students and parents to the groundbreaking advancements in innovation and entrepreneurism that are contributing to the growth of the medical campus and how they can be a part of it,” said Sandra Small, PhD, workforce development associate at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Life Sciences and Bioinformatics (CBLS). “This collaborative event provides firsthand exposure to how science can be relevant to many career paths, encouraging people to stay here and go far.”
Small is lead coordinator for iSciWNY, the life sciences workforce development program at UB that is helping organize the event.
Saturday’s event started with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at dig, downtown Buffalo’s new co-work space at 640 Ellicott Street.
Families received a medical campus map and were able to tour ten facilities, where they heard from experts, see state-of-the-art research labs, hospital rooms, creative spaces and more. Participants were able to test drive the Robotic Surgery Simulator (RoSS), use a microscope to view cancer cells, watch a pre-recorded surgery, pitch their entrepreneurial idea for the student edition of the popular television show Shark Tank and more.
“Connecting local students and adults to career opportunities on and off the medical campus is vital to our mission of furthering economic growth, igniting urban revitalization and building a strong, thriving community,” said Matthew K. Enstice, president and CEO of Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. “By showcasing the extensive array of opportunities on the medical campus, we hope to inspire the next generation of innovators, doctors, researchers and leaders.”
The event was powered by AT&T and featured CBLS, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Kaleida Health, the Jacobs Institute, Unyts, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, and the Thomas R. Beecher Jr. Innovation Center.
“AT&T’s partnership with the University of Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence Bioinformatics and Life Sciences and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is an example of our commitment to provide resources for STEM related educational programing in Western New York,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President, AT&T. “This program is crucial to the success of our economy, which increasingly relies on a workforce steeped in technological education and literacy. Now, more than ever, the students of today need to be equipped with the skills to compete in the global economy of tomorrow. AT&T applauds all organizations involved in this event for exposing students and families to the type of career opportunities that are available in their own backyard if they follow a STEM educational path.”