“It is nothing like I imagined:” Brookfield students get an up-close look at the human brain

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BROOKFIELD -- If you're not a surgeon, you may never get an up-close look at the human brain. But a group of Brookfield East High School students spent Monday morning, May 23rd doing just that.

Brookfield East High School at St. Luke’s Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute "It is nothing like I imagined experiencing or ever thought I would," said Madeline Mihm, Brookfield East H.S. senior.

The surgeons at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center spent Monday morning, May 23rd resecting a tumor from a patient's brain -- and Brookfield East High School students had a front row seat.

"It's just something different, seeing the brain up-close," said Mihm.

he students are in a biomedical science class -- and many want to go into medicine.

"This is going to be their space to innovate and create, and it's important for them to be aware of what is happening right here in their home town," said Sarika Walia, Aurora St. Luke's research fellow.

Brookfield East High School at St. Luke’s Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute

While some students got to spend time in the viewing gallery watching the actual surgery take place -- other students were learning about the robots these doctors used to make this surgery possible.

"These robots have the optical power and the optical magnification to really see a tumor at its most molecular level," said Walia.

surgery-4Students took turns practicing with the robot. It guides the surgeons, just like a GPS would, to remove the tumor in the safest way. And these robots are cutting edge. They recently got FDA approved.

"There are four being used currently so it is extremely novel -- hence why it is really important to have a lab like this and practice and perfect your technique," said Walia.

For students, this experience was an inspiration...

"Just how intricate and delicate it can be to do that -- how detailed the surgery is," said Mihm.

School visits to the Aurora Neuroscience Institute at St. Luke's Medical Center are becoming increasingly popular. In the last year, at least four different classes have observed a brain surgery.

Brookfield East High School at St. Luke’s Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute