Des Moines University recognizes the importance of engaging youth in STEM opportunities, and fostering the next generation of healthcare leaders.

We provide several on-campus programs to help local students learn about careers in health sciences and offer several educator resources. Occasionally, our student organizations visit classrooms with programs that address careers in healthcare and introduce basic anatomy.

Campus Events

  • Girls Exploring Medicine & Science: The GEMS event (formerly known as Girls in Science) allows girls from the Des Moines Public Schools in grades 4-7 the opportunity to experience hands-on activities that may one day inspire them to pursue careers in health care. 
  • Boys Reaching for Opportunities in Science: The BROS event invites boys in grades 2-6 to experience and inspire them to consider careers in health care and science.
  • Live...from the Heart: DMU hosts a screening of the "Live from the Heart" open heart surgery program. The showing is geared toward Iowa high school students wishing to visit the DMU campus and will also involve interactive experiences that complement the content. This event is held every two years.  
  • Mini-Medical School: This five-week evening lecture series (held February – March) presents medical topics in an accessible format designed for lifelong learners from middle school through retirees. Middle school students should be accompanied by an adult to attend.
  • "Get Your Foot in the Door": This free interactive session introduces introduce high school students to podiatric medicine through a case study that involves the hands-on application of skills.
  • Campus Tours & Activities: DMU has limited availability to bring youth groups and classes to campus for anatomy lab tours and other activities. Priority is given to local high school courses related to careers in health sciences, and STEM-related camps and groups. Please contact hanna.degeest@dmu.edu to request a campus tour.

Presentations and Resources

Classroom Presentations:

  • What's in a Doctor's Bag: DMU's Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) offers presentations to young elementary students, with the goal of introducing them to friendly future medical providers and demystifying a visit to the doctor's office. Presentations last about an hour.
  • Anatomy Ambassadors: The Anatomy Club connects Des Moines University anatomy students to local classrooms  – grade school through college – a chance to learn about various health and medical issues through organ demonstrations. Tours run from mid-October to mid-April. Ideal times to visit the lab are January-March.
  • Introduction to Podiatry: The scope of podiatric medicine goes beyond foot care by emphasizing the importance of the foot to a person’s overall health and well-being. The DMU Podiatric Advocacy student interest group presents to students about their career and can offer some hands-on activities that highlight podiatric principles.

Classroom Resources:

  • Orthopaedics in Action® Kits: Des Moines University loans this unique, hands-on curriculum for middle and high school STEM classrooms. Kits feature real-world challenges from orthopedic surgery and biomedical engineering and come complete with classroom lessons, each with multiple hands-on student workstations, instructional slides, student worksheets, and teacher professional development materials. To reserve please contact hanna.degeest@dmu.edu
  • DMU Online Medical Terminology Course: Medical terminology is a specialized language used by health care practitioners. This free, online mini-course in medical terms includes quizzes at the end of each chapter.
  • STEM Video Library: Des Moines University produces a multitude of STEM-focused video content each year, featuring our faculty, clinic providers and students.
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