University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Eyes on the Future: Inspiring Latino Middle School Youth to Pursue Careers in STEM Through Early Interactive Science Programming

Laura A. Carrillo, BA; Raquel A. Valdes, BA; Eric B. Desjarlais, BS; Velinka Medic, MS; Judy E. Kim, MD

WMJ. 2024;123(1):34-38.

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Background: Given the need for a diverse health care workforce, efforts must be made early in their education to support underrepresented minorities in medicine and the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Methods: The Eyes on the Future program introduces underrepresented minority 8th grade students to science and medicine via interactive science-based programming and mentorship by medical and graduate students. Program impact was evaluated using pre- and post-program surveys.

Results: Of 25 participating students, 24 and 22 responded to pre- and post-program surveys, respectively. Students showed strong interest in science concepts and STEM careers, with high, positively correlated, and statistically similar pre- and post-program survey responses.

Discussion: The Eyes on the Future program was well-received and represents a step towards addressing barriers to STEM careers faced by underrepresented minority students.

Author Affiliations: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Carrillo, Valdes, Desjarlais, Medic, Kim).
Corresponding Author: Laura A. Carrillo, BA, 8701 W Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226; email; ORCID ID 0000-0003-1469-3269
Funding/Support: This project was supported by the Association of American Medical Colleges Diversity Policy and Programs’ ProjectMED through payment made to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Financial Disclosures: Dr Kim reports receiving payments for consulting fees and/or serving on advisory boards of the following: Alimera Sciences, Inc., Allergan, Astellas Pharma Inc, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Clearside Biomedical, Inc, Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center International BV, Bausch & Lomb, Genentech, Notal Vision, Inc, Novartis, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Acknowledgements: The authors thank the faculty, staff members, and medical student and graduate student volunteers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the principal, teacher, and staff members at Bruce-Guadalupe Middle School who generously shared their time and contributed to the program’s success.
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