Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem was paid a visit by Ms. Agee’s entire AP English student cohort on November 5th. The Institute researches and works on growing tissues and organs, developing healing cell therapies for more than 30 different areas of the body.
But why would an English class take this trip?
Ms. Agee “hoped that the students would be able to see some of the medical advancements that were alluded to in the book we read.” Ms. Agee’s AP classes read the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which tells the life story of an African American women whose cancerous cells were taken from her body and never stopped growing. This field trip was intended to pique the interest of learning real world connections to the book.
Learning about this opportunity Ms. Agee stated, “Drew Lische, who I taught last year, told me about it when he took my class. His dad works with the institute and recommended we tour it after reading.” She also said the students “learned where the medical field stands in terms of the regeneration of cells and the growing of certain organs.”
About this year’s tour and continuing the field trip for future classes, Ms. Agee said, “I will continue it only if the institute will return a more hands-on experience for the students, so that it is not simply a quick presentation of ideas.” Obviously, this tour could have been better and didn’t meet expectations.
“I enjoyed learning about regenerative medicine and the possibilities it has to help so many people and I learned about the lack of organ donors. It was fun and interesting because I like science,” stated Kathy Jaramillo.
Jai Black said, “I learned about the various methods and research on regenerative medicine. I was truly interested in how replacement organs are made and the process of their creation. I enjoyed the tour of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, but I really liked going to Krispy Kreme the most.”
Sounds like this trip was rather intriguing, but maybe some students were just in for the shopping and donuts. However, next time the institute could improve on their presentation and tour. Overall it was better than a school day!