STEMM Develops New Medical Partnership


Desmond Andersen

STEMM Biomed students Camryn Butze and Alejandro Gonzalez pose with the CSA logo

Desmond Andersen, News Reporter

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Venice High School’s STEMM Magnet recently joined a partnership with the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA), a non-profit organization of physicians specializing in anesthesia and pain management. On Oct. 5 they hosted a launch event at Venice High to celebrate the new partnership.
Students welcomed several guest speakers, including the CSA President Dr. Karen Sibert, from the UCLA Department of Anesthesiology. Also present were a handful of UCLA doctor residents. The speakers gave a presentation in the school library, and afterwards the visitors were toured by students through various STEMM classrooms.

“About two years ago I started talking to the executive director of the CSA and he wanted to develop this partnership,” explained STEMM teacher April White, who was responsible for coordinating the event.
Students were able to talk freely with the residents and ask them questions. They even got to practice tracheal intubation—a method of administering medication via the windpipe—in a hands-on demonstration with a simulation doll.

“I thought it was really cool meeting first-hand residents who went to medical school,” remarked Aidan Yoo, one of the students present at the launch event. “I think a lot of people take for granted what anesthesiologists do.”

Another STEMM student Camryn Butze thinks the partnership with CSA is important, “because learning in the classroom is so much different from experience out in the real world. So to have that in such an early stage in education is important.”

Although the partnership is still in it’s infancy, White is already thinking of more ways the CSA and UCLA anesthesiology residents can get involved with the STEMM Magnet in the near future. There are plans for a field-trip this coming spring to the UCLA medical simulation center.

For those unfamiliar with the STEMM Magnet, the biomedical pathway consists of four electives that students progress through over the course of their high school career. Each year builds upon the material taught in the precursory class.

STEMM student Alejandro Gonzalez, who is in his third year of the biomedical program, describes it as very exciting. “I really enjoy it a lot because it gives me a wide perspective of all these different areas of medicine I could go into,” he said.

“The people you meet there are good people and also they are interested in the same things you are,” Butze said of her biomed classmates. “They are all committed to the same things you are, so it makes it much easier to not go through it alone.

Other local schools involved in the partnership with CSA are El Segundo High School and the Girls Academic Leadership Academy.