five students have their eyes covered as the medical student holds a tuning fork to the ear of one of the students
Juliet Suen (M1) and Varun Mishra (M1) use a tuning fork to teach West End Center students about how we localize sound with our auditory system.
five students have one hand over one eye and holding strips of paper in front of them
Kavya Iyer, TBMH graduate student, and Kelly Gordon (M1) teach West End Center students about the visual system and how to find their blind spot.
students gathered around a table with a variety of supplies
At the auditory station, (Left to Right), Parsa Khaksar (M1), Uma Kelavkar (M1), and Sydney Dinn (M1) teach West End Center students how to make a harmonica out of popsicle sticks, straws, and rubber bands.

A sincere thank you to everyone who participated in the Spring 2023 series of Bodies & Bites at the West End Center for Youth! The 4th and 5th graders had a blast learning about the senses of smell, taste, vision, hearing, and touch, while making harmonicas out of popsicle sticks, doing blind taste tests, playing cornhole with prismatic lens goggles, experimenting with two-point discrimination, and many more hands-on activities. 

As always, the healthy snacks made with the kids were (mostly) a hit, with the banana oatmeal pancakes being the star of the series. 

“These experiences can be very formative in developing skills to communicate complex concepts in science and medicine that can be understood by a lay audience,” said Kris Rau, basic science education, who organizes the event. 

four students are blindfolded and holding plastic spoons. one student puts the spoon in her mouth
Mary Wesley, VTCSOM HSSIP Domain, and Celine Marlin Andrews (M4) help West End Center students conduct an experiment on the gustatory system.
students gathered around a table with plates of fruits, peanut butter, and jellies
Kavya Iyer, TBMH graduate student, make PB&J tacos with the West End Center students.
Student cooking pancakes on a stove with teacher supervision
Mary Wesley, VTCSOM HSSIP Domain, makes banana oatmeal pancakes with one of the West End Center students.

A big thanks to the medical students who participated:

Class of 2023

  • Celine Marlin Andrews

Class of 2024

  • Sarah Kremer

Class of 2026

  • Lily Brouwer
  • Sydney Dinn
  • Alexis Dowiak
  • Liz Gienger
  • Kelly Gordon
  • Adriana Irizarry
  • Uma Kelavkar
  • Parsa Khaksar
  • Roger Luong
  • Varun Mishra
  • Sofia Montes
  • Marie Rhoads
  • Juliet Suen
  • Alyssa Sze
  • Collin Tanchanco Ocampo
  • Thisha Thiagarajan
  • Jessica Urbanczyk
  • Jacqueline Urdang
  • Katie Voegtlin, and 
  • Dana Wang

Also thank you to Mary Frazier, Kavya Iyer, and Emma Leslie from FBRI/TBMH for their assistance.

VTCSOM faculty to be recognized: Mary Wesley and Kristofer Rau.