At the very outset the description of this project excited me.
When I heard that we would be taking blood samples from ourclassmates I knew instantly that this would be a super project, that I needed to be a part of.
Naturally, there was a lot of work to be done, but we figured out how to co-operate as a team and solve our problems together.
We saw and learned sooo much about the medical field, for example how to draw blood, perform ultrasounds, which was simply super;). We learned what is important for the body,
what the body absolutely needs and how it supplies itself with trace elements. With our project we hopefully opened the eyes of our classmates to look more closely at what the body needs to be healthy, and how it functions. Apart from the quantity of work, the project had many great aspects, and was really fun as well as educational.
The group of us fit really well together and was able to overcome all the challenges. And, the best part was actually seeing the results of our work at the end!!!
Over the last few years, the
themes for the special projects have always fascinated me. I was from the start very conscious of the amount of work and energy the project would require. But, one gets used to working as a group to take care of the huge work load, and there is also a "fun factor" to all of this. For me what was very interesting was the visit to the hospital in Oberndorf. Because, there we were able to watch the ultrasounds, intestine examinations, laboratory tests etc. and observe the doctors at their work.
Particularly pleasing was the amount of interest our classmates and other teachers showed toward our project. Nearly, 95% of the school partook in some manner. This shows how important it is to examine one's health.
Experimenting in the kitchen was also fun. It is really amazing what one can do with just some well-kneaded dough. :-)
I find that general health is a very important and hand in hand with that comes the subject of nutrition. Just by loosing a few vital nutrients one can, incredibly quickly, become very ill. This is important for while today's processed foods maybe taste good, many lack very important nutrients. At school we concentrated on the nutritional role of the element copper, which is contained in relatively few foods. What I enjoyed most about the project however was
the blood analyses of my fellow pupils. Through this work, we were able to see what nutrients young people are lacking. Naturally, analyzing our own blood was also very interesting. In addition some of our culinarily gifted classmates created snacks high in copper. The lecture from Dr. Aigner also fascinated me. It is amazing how much one can learn about an individual's state of health simply from examining their blood.
In the future diet and nutrition will become increasingly important.
Human life spans continue to increase, but what good is that if one spends much of that extra time in bed, and cannot get out and enjoy old age? The corner-stone for a long and high quality life is a quality diet. This was the core of my interest in this project. Our visit to the hospital was the highlight for me because I have always wanted to experience the non-patient side of a hospital. I have always wondered what all those big machines do, or how an ultrasound machine works?
When we went to the festival room of our school to hear the results I was completely surprised. Nearly all the other
students, who were not working on the project, had come. The lecture was completely voluntary, and they had all come simply out of their curiosity and interest in our project. Apparently, health and nutrition are interesting subjects.
I would gladly take part in another project, not just with my current teammates but also any of my other classmates or teachers.
From the outside the project idea of examining our blood and the role of copper was my favorite idea for a project. When the idea came to examine a large part of the student body, it was clear to me that this was a good project to be a part of.
Particularly exciting for me was the work with the blood. Especially, the drawing of one's own blood (naturally under professional observation) made thrills run up my spine. Above all one could use the project to excuse oneself from class with other teachers ;-). But being able to explore life in a real working laboratory, and do research on one's own blood was amazing; and caused me to sign up to do an internship in another blood laboratory over the summer. The topic of blood was the uniting factor for our team. This year the project was worked on by a "patchwork" team, meaning that our team consisted of students from all different grades and classes. For this was a great experience
to work with students that otherwise I would never really get to know, however there were still some barriers between the "old" and the "young" students. But, I think that our team will only become closer in the future. In any case I am very pleased about the scientifically publishable results we created, the amount of interest that arose for our project, and that we managed to make so many young people aware of, and interested in, their own health.
The topics of "nutrition,health, etc." have always interested me very much. Therefore it was clear to me from the outset that this was the right project for me.
I had already had a few experiences with genetic and biological projects at our school, and had always found such experiences to be fantastic. I loved both working with the lab equipment and with my brain. Sometimes, if more people work on a project it causes it to become more complicated. Much more organization is required, but the idea of doing some real and important research gave us a common goal. This year the team meshed together well, and I would call the collection of individuals who worked on it a TEAM :-). A small "setback" in this project was
that we slightly exceeded the budget. This was due to the fact that we promised a breakfast to all those who participated in the project, and nearly the whole school took us up on the offer. I thought it was really cool that we were allowed to "work" in the Oberndorf's hospital's laboratory, and that we were allowed to observe and take part in the everyday life at the hospital. However, the most interesting thing for me was the lecture explaining the results of all of our hard work.
Why did I participate at this project?
Because, in my opinion the topic of health is becoming more and more important. Life expectancy is on the rise world-wide, not least due to better education. With this project we wanted to contribute something to the body of knowledge concerning health and the human body. We want to encourage other young people to be health conscious because the foundation of one's health is laid during one's youth.
What was most inspiring about this project was that the whole school was able to take part in it, in some way.
I was overwhelmed that almost all of our classmates let themselves be examined by us. One cannot claim that the youth lack an interest in the subject of health. I was also overwhelmed that 250 of our classmates showed up on their own time to hear the results of the blood tests.
The next goal in this line of work should be to be turn the youth's interest in general health into an interest in good nutrition.
Our schools scientific projects have been making headlines for many years. "Tick checks provided",
"Hemochromatosis-Early Recognition Can Save Lives" and "Bees Flee Illness" are just some of the projects from HLFS Ursprung that have appeared in the local newspapers and news shows. Because, these projects contribute to the reputation of our school I knew I had to take part in one of the Genetics/Biology Elective classes.
From the outset our topic fascinated me: "If lifestyle makes one ill?". Our short crash course in drawing blood and performing ultrasounds was particularly exciting. Naturally, all of this was done under the supervision of the professional doctors and medical assistants. Also the day in the hospital's laboratory left a serious
impression on me. One does not often have the chance to examine one's own blood, or watch an endoscopy being performed.
I think that we started a pretty cool trend in awareness at our school, with this project. Strengthening individuals' interest in their own health is a particularly important task nowadays.
Finally,I can say that the planning and execution of this project required much work and patience, however it was all definitely worthwhile. We also had an absolute blast despite the work load, and I hope that our results show this passion.
When we were deciding on what we wanted to do for a project, the decision was very easy for me.
And, after the first experience with blood work I knew immediately which project I wanted to be a part of. I find the whole idea of bringing the entire school together to be examined, and in the process motivate so many students to be more health conscious simply ingenious. And, since I would like a career working in the field of health care, there were no down sides at all for working on this project.
A further point, which particularly pleased me about this project was the creativeness in developing a snack
with high levels of trace elements. Especially, since all of this was done by simply mixing common vegetables, nuts, etc. into the dough. I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, and this let me do just that.
Lastly is the interest in a healthy nutrition. Everyone should take an active interest in whether or not they have a healthy diet or not. And, I hope that the results of our blood work served as source of feedback to our classmates on whether they pay enough, or need to pay more attention, to their bodies.
Biotechnology is a topic for the future and one that greatly interests me. Therefore after taking a basic course in biology last year, I took another class in it to be able to participate in this project. Which was good because I was able to put all the "boring" theory hours to good use, and see how all that studying in class actually paid off in the real world. I found it particularly remarkable that so many of my schoolmates went
through with the health check and came to the lecture on the results. This confirms, for me, that young people are much more concerned about their health than most adults think.
I found the practical exercises also very exciting like the day in the blood laboratory and performing the entire health check.
Within the project watching everyone learn to co-operate was amazing. Just like in the movie "Ocean's Eleven" we seemed to have a specialist for everything and the students could do anything when they all worked together as a team. Phenomenal!
In all other respects the entire school fascinated me. The commitment of the students and teachers to scientific work and responsibility for one's own health made for a very logical project, which will definitely have a positive effect on many of the students.
This year I participated, for the second time, in one of the science projects. Just as I had hoped, it was again a great experience, and I learned a lot about blood, healthy nutrition, the metabolism of various nutrients etc. In addition the
team consisting of third and fourth year students came together in a way that only occurs when everyone is motivated by such an exciting and cool class project. And of course fun was to be found at every step along the way.
Last year I was allowed, for the first time, to partake in a medical project on "Hemochromatose", where I learned a lot about blood work.
This aroused my interest and I decided to do a practical course in a blood laboratory. The Copper project, in co-operation with the Oberndorf hospital was
not only technically ingenious but also the team building elements the students learned by working with students from other classes.
It was everything I hoped it could be, and will certainly not be the last time I come into contact with blood ;) though hopefully always in the laboratory.
Because I am very interested in the mechanics of the human body, this project was ideal for me. I have already participated in two other projects, and
I am still fascinated by how a group of students can run every part of such a complicated project.
This project particularly amazed me with huge number of volunteers for the health checks.
The dynamics of the team this year were amazing, refreshing, and inspiring. Despite their normally heavy amount of regular school work, the students were able to still dedicate themselves to this project. We had originally hoped to have 150 students volunteer to be tested, the fact that 320 students volunteered in the end still astounds me. Also the willingness of the students from the first classes to volunteer to enter data (a rather tedious and boring task) shows that nearly the entire school was completely behind this project.
This year, for the first time, we used a Wiki system for the documentation of our work, a
quasi update from the forum we used in previous years. It has still a few small kinks to be worked out, but promises to have much potential. Thus I always manage to learn a lot with the pupils.
This year we will publish a scientific PAPER. I find, that we aim to publish a scientific PAPER to aim at for the first time and together with the physicians of the hospital in Oberndorf two of the pupils will be listed as co-authors. Which is two more than I had, when I wrote my own dissertation. To say it as the students' do „endgeil“. (; -)
I didn't come into contact with actual research until the very end of med. school. Science is not a dry affair, but something that creates a certain “free space“ to think and bring creativity into everyday life. Especially, when so much learning seems to be just the reproduction of facts. And it was also a whole lot of fun. It was a completely unique experience that has to search for comparison anywhere else in the world.
A class of motivated students performed a public health service, and actually found health and scientifically relevant results, as well as the joy of cooperation and pride of a job well done. This project made them push themselves beyond their usual limits to achieve the goal, and they learned a lot in the process about themselves, team work, science, and good health. I would be excited to work with all of you again, this was a once in a life time experience that you all made possible yourselves.