Local youth explore medicine firsthand at CALEB Science Club

CALEB Science Club

In April, the University of Missouri School of Medicine hosted another edition of the popular “Called to Academic Leadership Excellence and Building character and confidence” (CALEB) Science Club. The club allows local students from fifth grade through high school to gain interactive, hands-on experience and learn more about science, medicine and healthcare.

Amruta Padhye, MD
Amruta Padhye, MD

At the latest event at the School of Medicine, students participated in an extended research day that walked students through the process of a research project. Amruta Padhye, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics & division director for Infectious Diseases, served as keynote speaker.

Following her presentation on infectious diseases and vaccines, CALEB participants picked their research topic of choice to pursue. The event concluded with an interactive poster presentation, allowing students to discuss their respective findings.

Two of the CALEB Science Club attendees, David and Danielle Igbekele, said they relished their weekend trip to the School of Medicine. The siblings are currently 11th and ninth grade students at Christian Fellowship School in Columbia, respectively. They both joined the club in 2023 and have enjoyed its various events.

For Danielle, her nine months with the club have already been memorable. Whether it’s her peers in the club or the mentor volunteers at each event, she’s thankful for all of the support it provides.

“The CALEB Science Club makes me excited to one day work in the medical field,” said Danielle Igbekele. “I love how supportive and helpful everyone has been. There’s always someone available to answer any questions you may have, provide resources and guide you towards your goals.”

As David soon graduates from high school and is looking at prospective colleges to attend, the opportunity to visit a campus like the University of Missouri through the CALEB Science Club presented another valuable experience.

“Touring MU’s School of Medicine is really fun, because I get to imagine how my own college and medical school experience may be like,” said David Igbekele. “Having the opportunity to work alongside current medical students is also enjoyable. They’re not only relatable in their experiences, but they can also clarify any questions I may have about my potential healthcare career.”

Founded by Ellis Ingram, MD, emeritus senior associate dean, and his wife, Pamela, the CALEB Science Club is overseen by Granny’s House, a charitable non-profit organization in mid-Missouri. It has helped impact local students for nearly 30 years.

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