DPT Students Help Grade Schoolers Become Scientists for a Day

By Purnell T. Cropper | August 15, 2014

On Aug. 9 at White Rock Baptist Church in West Philadelphia, students in Arcadia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program assisted with a carnival aimed at increasing scientific awareness and enthusiasm in local children and their families. The Science Education Academy Carnival, run by Science Education Academy (SEA), Inc., offered more than 40 students in grades K-6 a collection of hands-on activities and experiments designed to pique their curiosity and imaginations.

Dianne Weeks ’16DPT, who helped organize the first SEA Carnival in 2012, managed a booth at this year’s event that informed children and parents about the field of physical therapy. Arcadia faculty helped with research, while classmates Teresa Gero ’16DPT, Diane Kim ’16DPT, Rebecca Nitz ’16DPT, Christian Porter ’16DPT, and Betsy Lane ’16DPT assisted as volunteers. There also were workshops for parents and poster presentations by graduate students.

“We want the kids to know that PT is a possible career they could pursue if they enjoy science and want to help people directly,” said Weeks. “For the parents and guardians, we want them to have an opportunity to learn about what physical therapists can do for them and how they can access PTs locally by disseminating relevant information.”

SEA was formed in 2008 as a partnership between White Rock Baptist Church and the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the SEA Carnival, the organization conducts weekly programs for elementary school students.