Spark the Conversation

Connections and Impact: One Student's Journey From Learning to Giving Back

May 13, 2016
Posted By: TELUS Spark
Connections happen on many levels.  Our brains build connections between neurons as we learn and develop.  Our community builds connections with and through the science centre.  Much in the same way connections in your brain become stronger the more you reinforce learning, meaningful impact in the community happens when there are more opportunities to connect with the science centre.

Haley Young was an 11th Grade student at Ernest Manning High School when she came to TELUS Spark to witness a live knee surgery.   She called her experience during ‘Direct From the Operating Room’ fascinating, recalling the intricacies of the surgeries and the many steps from scrubbing in through to recovery.  The day her class came to the science centre to witness the live surgery, Haley knew she wouldn’t be squeamish as she had a budding interest in human physiology and sports medicine.  She was surprised, however, that so many of her friends and classmates also found it just as intriguing.  The program had an impact on her classmates and especially on Haley. That day was a stepping-stone along Haley’s path to becoming a kinesiologist and reinforced her plans to become a medical doctor as well.

As Haley was applying to post-secondary school, she became a patient herself. Through her experience as a patient and the excellent care she received, her passion for sports medicine was ignited again and cemented her decision to study kinesiology in university.  

Now in her first year of study for a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Calgary, Haley is pursuing her passion.  She is also sharing her knowledge with the community, inspiring more people to pursue studies of science and the human body. 

Haley was sitting in a biology class when her professor put up a slide about an opportunity to volunteer in BODY WORLDS Vital at TELUS Spark.  Haley knew she was early in her studies, and not sure whether she was an ‘expert’ quite yet, but knew she had something to give.  She has since become a regular volunteer in the exhibition, elevating the experience of visitors to BODY WORLDS Vital

If you’re wandering through BODY WORLDS Vital and strike up a conversation with Haley, you’ll quickly find that her passion for physiology, anatomy, and kinesiology runs deep.  She’s most fond of the ‘Orthopaedic Man’ plastinate. That particular full-body plastinates resonates with Haley because it illustrates the many parts of the body that can be repaired to help people improve quality of life.

An exhibition like BODY WORLDS Vital sparks many questions. Haley says the most common questions she receives are around exactly what element of the complex human form visitors are looking at.  Haley says visitors are always looking for connections to their own bodies.  The exhibition is an incredible learning opportunity, but also relatable because everyone can see a part of themselves in the exhibition and understand their own bodies a little better through it. 

Haley acknowledges she’s also learned a lot as a student by spending time in BODY WORLDS Vital.  She says the up-close look at human physiology and anatomy are helping her prepare for her future medical endeavours.  

“Every day I learn something new being in BODY WORLDS.”

BODY WORLDS Vital focuses on the critical importance of physical activity and eating well to stay healthy.  Through her kinesiology studies, Haley’s learning just how important it is to stay active for life.  She says the exhibition speaks to the contemporary health issues of today and how we can address those issues by stopping our sedentary lifestyles, getting moving and eating healthier.  As a volunteer, Haley has helped to plant the seeds of improved health and better understanding of our human selves with hundreds of visitors. 

BODY WORLDS Vital is only at TELUS Spark until May 31. Get your tickets now.

Learn more about the incredible expertise and commitment of TELUS Spark volunteers on the blog here.