Research Mentor Name

Meghan Dwaihy

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



There continues to be a lack of representation and diversity in higher education today, especially in medicine and healthcare. As part of the Healthy Hearts student organization at Wayne State University School of Medicine, we developed a one-time educational session and interactive demonstration to teach students about heart and lung health and fuel students’ enthusiasm for healthcare. This project serves as a quality improvement study to understand how we can increase STEM interest in elementary and middle school students in and around Detroit, Michigan. A three question pre- and post-intervention survey was constructed to measure change in: 1) interest in health and science education; 2) perceived importance of heart, lung, nutrition, and exercise education; and 3) intent to pursue a career in health or sciences. Out of 27 students surveyed, 26 surveys were completed fully and used for analysis by independent unpaired t-tests for each survey statement. Following the intervention, mean student interest in health and science education improved by 15.6% (p = 0.187). Mean student-perceived importance of heart, lung, nutrition, and exercise education improved by 18.5% (p = 0.210). Mean student intent of pursuing a career in health or sciences improved by 6.41% (p = 0.612). Although there was a raw improvement in student agreement with the three statements, we found no statistically significant increase in interest in medicine based on pre- and post-intervention survey questions. We will evaluate areas needing improvement in our presentation/demonstration and collect additional data to further evaluate the efficacy of the proposed intervention.


Medicine and Health Sciences