On December 13th, Project Exploration’s Sisters4Science program took our 4 participating schools (Carter G. Woodson North Middle School, Ariel Community Academy, Frederick Funston Elementary School, and Marquette School of Excellence) to the International Museum of Surgical Science (IMSS) in Chicago’s own Gold Coast neighborhood! The students were really excited to visit this wonderful building, that not only holds some of the greatest innovations from the medical surgery world, but also has a rich history within the walls of the building itself. According to the IMSS history, the historic lakeside mansion belonged to a prominent Chicago family in the early 1900’s. The overall designed is based on French chateaus that belonged to Louis XVII and Marie Antoinette. The building has four floors and many rooms within it, making it an amazing location for the museum. Our wonderful STEM Facilitators lead our students through the day and the girls learned a ton! Each facilitator wrote a short reflection of the day and their students’ experiences so we can learn about the day from all different points of view!
STEM Facilitator, Psychology student at Northeastern Illinois University
As a Chicago resident, I have lived here my entire life. I have visited Chicago museums such as the Field Museum and others, but I found that visiting the International Museum of Surgical Science was different from the other museums. At the entrance, I was surprised that it used to be a house owned by a well-known family in Chicago. My very first impression was the history of surgical science and how before scientist were not aware of the existence of germs and their journey to discovering them. I believe this was a great learning experience for the girls, it provided them a chance to learn about surgical science have some fun at the same time. The girls did not only have the chance to tour the museum and learn but they had the chance to watch a surgical demonstration on how scientist/ doctors in the past perform surgery, amputations in particular. This retreat not only provided the girls with a learning experience but an opportunity to engage with their fellow classmates, their facilitators, and with other Sisters4Science girls from other schools.
STEM Facilitator, Woodson North and Marquette
The experience at the retreat was very interesting! I really liked that the girls could learn so much history at this place and were also able to make friends with other girls from the other Sisters4Science schools. I was able to witness the girls ask lots of questions and also react when they were blown away by information they never thought existed. I also saw that it helped the girls get a better understanding on certain things while on the tour as well. For this being our first field trip, I felt it turned out great. The girls also expressed more empathy towards what had happened to the people in the past when there were other alternatives when it came to medical treatment. I know that really opened their eyes to the advancements we have accomplished and are truly blessed for coming a long way in the medical field. They really enjoyed themselves and so did I.
STEM Facilitator, Anthropology student at DePaul University
The day had finally com!. All the schools that have Sisters4Science were finally coming together for the Leadership Retreat. The girls from Funston Elementary were beyond excited because they had never even heard of the museum. Once all the girls had met in a room to take off their coats, they were all mixed up together and separated into different groups. The group that I was a part of was group A. I had a few of the girls from Funston but also from the others schools. It was good to be able to meet the different girls and ask how they were enjoying the experience with Sisters4Science so far. The girls were given a tour and when we entered a different room you can hear some of them go “ahh that’s so cool”. It was refreshing to see that this part of science can bring the girls to an awe of its history. They even showed a demonstration of an amputation were two girls volunteered to be the either the doctor or the patient. It was super cool to see all the girls get into the demonstration. Overall, I think the girls enjoyed themselves very much. Many of them left the museum with questions or comments about how cool it was and if they could go visit with their families. Definitely a great day!
STEM Facilitator, Pre-Medicine student at the University of Chicago
The retreat to the Surgical Museum was a blast! It was great to be able to see all of the girls from different programs get together and meet each other for the first time. I think they all loved the experience and learned some awesome things at the museum! Antimia told me that her favorite part was the exhibit about anesthesia because it was crazy to see how surgical procedures happened when things had to be done the old-fashioned way. “Amputating a leg with no anesthesia would not be pleasant.” On the other hand, Rhema was impressed that they invented some of the tools they used before modern technology made surgeries quicker and more efficient! Overall, I think the trip was a huge success and all of the girls are looking forward to the next retreat!