6th May 2011
University of Sheffield PhD student investigates matters of the heart
Pupils from across Sheffield learnt all about the physiology of the heart at the University of Sheffield last week (26 April 2011). The event, entitled Powerlab, included a mini lecture on the physiology of the heart, followed by an interactive lab session
Powerlab is part of the University of Sheffield Outreach and Access to Medicine Scheme (SOAMS). The SOAMS initiative is for local Year 9-13 students with an interest in medicine or science and seeks to make a career in medicine a possibility for able students from all backgrounds.
Powerlab gives pupils on the SOAMS programme an exciting insight into the lab work undertaken by students of medicine. Activities at the event were designed to link into work pupils were already doing in school in order to help increase their awareness of physiology and their commitment to pursuing their ambition of becoming a doctor.
The mini lecture on the heart gave pupils insight into how the heart copes with problems such as heart disease or cardiac arrest. They also explored how the heart responds to exercise in a laboratory session to monitor how heart function differs when the body is active or at rest.
The session was led by PhD student Alice England, from the Department of Biomedical Science. Alice commented: “Events like Powerlab allow pupils to investigate their own heart function and experience techniques such as recording ECGs, something they may only have seen on TV or heard about in class. I feel it provides a more personal direction to their learning and makes it relevant to them, as they can see first-hand what happens to their heart during exercise.”
Amy Horton, Outreach Activities Officer at the University commented: “Powerlab is an opportunity for young people on SOAMS to explore science through fun, hand-on activities. By taking part in a lecture and a lab session and working alongside current medical students, they get a taste of what it's like to be a student at the University of Sheffield.”