With the help of a Lakota Plains Junior seventh grade science class, West Chester Hospital has a name for its new surgical robot – S.A.M. (Surgical Assisting Mechanism).
Erin Middendorf’s class at Lakota Plains Junior School, which won the “Name the Robot” contest held in collaboration with the hospital and the school district, received a certificate signed by West Chester Hospital chief executive officer Dr. Kevin Joseph and chief operating officer Tom Daskalakis, as well as an iPad 2 for the classroom on Tuesday.
After studying the robot, which is known more broadly as the da Vinci Si surgical robot, students were required to work together to come up with a name for the robot and to submit a 100-word essay about their choice.
Finishing in second place was Heidi Adams’ sixth period science class from Hopewell Junior School with their submission of S.T.I.T.C.H., which stands for “Surgical Tiny Incision Tremor Controlled Hand.” As a surprise, West Chester Hospital decided to award them with an iPad 2 as well.
“We cannot thank the West Chester Hospital staff enough for their incredible hospitality and enthusiasm toward our students and staff throughout this entire process,” Lakota’s Superintendent Karen Mantia said. “They have been an outstanding partner and we look forward to more opportunities to expose our students to the fields of robotics and healthcare.
“Our students had the rare opportunity to get some hands-on experience in a high-demand industry and, for some, this experience may have even helped define their career paths.”
Approximately 1,500 seventh grade students in the Lakota district participated in the contest, submitting 58 potential names based on what they learned about robotic surgery.
The top two classes were then selected by hospital leaders and invited to the hospital for a pizza party and tour. During the tour, the children visited the clinical laboratory, pharmacy and even had the opportunity to “test-drive” the surgical robot that they helped name.
“We are excited to partner with the Lakota Local School District on this project, which is just the beginning of what we hope will be a long-lasting collaboration and friendship,” Daskalakis said. “We truly believe that reaching out to kids now and getting them interested in math, science and the medical field will help build the foundation for our next generation of doctors, nurses and other health-related careers.”