Heartwheels interactive display at Maker Days this weekend

Posted on November 8, 2023
Heartwheels interactive display at Maker Days this weekend

Dr. Koenig and students during previous Heartwheels event

Heartwheels! STEM Mobile Outreach— an experiential educational initiative designed to engage young people in the local community and throughout Kentucky in STEM fields and inspire them to pursue their interests in related fields—is participating in the Kentucky Science Center’s Maker Days event on November 10-11 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Heartwheels! was founded and developed by faculty members Gretel Monreal, PhD and Steven C. Koenig, PhD from the Advanced Heart Failure Research (AHFR) Program at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. They bring a portable version of their laboratory out into schools and communities, many of which are underrepresented with limited resources and/or access to STEM faculty and technologies, and create innovative cardiovascular-based learning opportunities and fun hands-on activities for learning about heart health

Monreal and Koenig founded Heartwheels! to share their expertise, experience, and passion in developing and testing cardiovascular medical devices. They use these events as a vehicle to engage and inspire young minds to envision themselves as scientists, clinicians, and/or engineers with future productive and rewarding careers in emerging STEM fields. 

“Harnessing young people’s interests in science, technology, engineering, and math at a young age allows them to envision themselves in STEM careers in their future,” said Monreal and Koenig, “Our participants’ eagerness to join in on our learning activities shows that young people’s STEM interests are there they just need opportunities for exploration.”

The Kentucky Science Center’s Maker Days has a similar mission as Heartwheels! in encouraging the local community to partake in learning about STEM-related topics. Makers Days is an exemplary event designed to allow students to gain knowledge on STEM careers with local professionals and gain hands-on experience with a variety of engaging Maker activities.

Visit Heartwheels! at the Kentucky Science Center’s Maker Days this Friday and Saturday and experience fun and interactive educational engagements, observe an assortment of cardiovascular devices used in clinical treatment, and learn more about STEM fields.