MeharryNOW project sponsors health science academy and greenhouse at two Metro middle schools

Through a partnership with Meharry Medical College, students from Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts and Haynes Middle Prep are getting extra support in their STEM studies. This Tuesday, Oct. 11, staff, faculty and students from Meharry will volunteer at Creswell Middle Prep School of the Arts and Haynes Middle Prep. This day-long service project known as MeharryNOW will consist of two parts: a health science academy and a greenhouse.

"The academies will serve as learning laboratories that will allow students to experience applied STEM projects, further contextualizing their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content,” said Kristopher Elliott, Metro Schools director of STEM, “ and there are so many opportunities to connect the opportunities a greenhouse provides to health sciences – think beneficial and medicinal plants like aloe vera.”

The health science academy will involve both schools. The aim is to introduce middle school students to the health science industry and the many different options for employment within it. As part of this, volunteers are “taking over” sciences classes at the schools and will assist students with hands-on projects in areas such as dental and clinical exploration, a health challenge and relating bodies and wellness.

On the campus of Haynes, MeharryNOW volunteers will build a greenhouse that will allow students at the school to actively participate in experiments relating to botany, horticulture and technology.

“The cultivation of plants is also a great way to connect arts and science,” Elliott also said. “There is a science to how we grow plants and manage the greenhouse environment, yet the arts allow us to visualize and create a space where the selection and arrangement of plants align with natural beauty.”

Through this work, Meharry hopes to foster an interest in science at a young age and increase the number of minorities in health care and biomedical sciences.

Volunteer training for the events will take place both the day before and the day of the events in order to accommodate anyone who wishes to volunteer for any amount for time. Parents from both schools are encouraged to participate.