Sure, there are coding and engineering STEM enrichment programs, but what if your elementary schooler could actually go to pre-med or pre-vet “classes?”
“I think all of us pretended we were a doctor or a vet growing up,” said Marion Beck, owner/operator of Little Medical School of Baltimore. “That’s what makes Little Medical School so much fun! There really isn’t another STEM or STEAM program out there that focuses on the healthcare industry.”
Little Medical School uses the concept of role-playing, allowing children to ‘simulate’ medical school (or veterinary school) experiences. What kinds of things to do they learn? Well, if they’re in the Little Vet School Dog Program, they learn how a vet does a “nose to tail” animal assessment. They go over the importance of proper nutrition and hydration. The learn about foods that dogs can and can’t have, and what to do when a dog has a laceration (there is even a suturing simulation). They make dog treats and learn how to give dogs medication.
“It’s definitely edutainment,” said Marion. “The kids are learning real skills, but they’re having a great time.”
Little Medical School offers a variety of healthcare-related programs, including learning about human body systems or first aid, pediatrics, wilderness medicine, nursing, pharmacy school, and even sports medicine.Curriculums are offered for preschool-age through high school age, and can be customized for after school programs, scout meetings, or even an ‘in-class’ field trip. (Gotta love when the field trip comes to you!) High schoolers who complete the course can then become a junior instructor for Little Medical School and earn service learning hours.
In case you are wondering — YES! The kids wear pint-sized lab coats.
Marion decided to bring the Little Medical School franchise to Baltimore because she was looking for a new career adventure. With years of nursing experience and kid experience (she’s an aunt to 34 nieces and nephews!), Marion thought working with children might be a refreshing change of pace. So when she saw Little Medical School listed as a top franchise in Entrepreneur Magazine, she knew it would be a perfect fit.
“This niche really inspired me and was an opportunity to use more of my MBA skills,” said Marion. “I love when the lightbulb goes off for the kids. When the preschoolers get a stethoscope and hear their heart for the first time… it’s just so amazing.”