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Partner Spotlight: Social Issues in Medicine

C4K members and SIM mentors simulate a storm in a jar

Thanks to community partners, C4K offers STEM workshops to our members. One long-term partner is UVa’s Social Issues in Medicine (SIM) class. SIM is a course aimed at teaching first-year medical students at the University of Virginia about social factors that influence health. Students are matched with a local organization in Charlottesville and undertake a year-long project to fulfill the organization’s mission while learning more about the surrounding community. 

From August 2021 to April 2022, six UVa SIM students— Milyard, Noora, Paul, Vivian, Clayton, and Nicholas— mentored at C4K. They planned and led 16 entertaining and engaging STEAM-related workshops for C4K youth members.

Our C4K members and SIM mentors collaborated to try many creative, innovative, and STEAM-related ideas. Together they simulated a storm in a jar, made metal boats and tested their buoyancy, and used rubber bands to make guitars. 

SIM mentors wrote the following comments on their poster:

“Our volunteer work with C4K has been invaluable in connecting us to the Charlottesville community and exposing us to various determinants of health and education.

We also gained an appreciation for the educational impacts that social determinants can have on children. Many of us were lucky enough to attend school throughout our education which provided many extracurricular activities and opportunities. We got to see how this is not the case for everyone and how programs like C4K play a critical role in helping under-resourced communities gain exposure to STEM opportunities.”

C4K members test the buoyancy of their metal boats