Event Celebrates CIRP Student Research

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A recent event at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) celebrated the wide-ranging accomplishments of a number of students who worked with CIRP staff and investigators this summer. Held August 5, the ninth Annual Student Research Day featured presentations that highlighted the scope and breadth of CIRP’s research, from those focused on driving-related topics to concussions to a study of injuries sustained by spectators at Major League Baseball ballparks.

The students came to CIRP as Injury Science Summer Interns, via the CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP), and Drexel University’s Co-op program. While many of the students hailed from Philadelphia-local schools — such as the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Villanova University — students from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Kansas also gave presentations.

The day was set up as a sort of “speed-dating” version of a symposium: each student was given approximately five minutes to talk about his or her research, and at the end of the event a winner of the day’s best presentation was announced, chosen by CIRP investigators Helen Loeb, PhD, and Jessica H. Mirman, PhD. In all, the event featured 11 presentations.

Danielle Cole, a Drexel Co-op student, led things off with a discussion of her work on the Cellie Coping Kit. Originally designed by CHOP researchers to help children and their families manage the physical and emotional challenges associated with cancer treatment, the Cellie Coping Kit includes its namesake plush toy, a pack of coping cards, and a booklet for caregivers. Over the past few months, Cole has been helping develop coping cards for a version of Cellie devoted to injuries (“Injury Cellie”), and has been working to raise money to support the project’s development. So far, she has raised $2,500 on her own, Cole said.

Later in the day, Nicholas Janigian gave a presentation on “Spectator Injuries and Medical Events at MLB Ballparks.” An undergraduate at Villanova University, Janigian’s interest in his topic stems from his love of sports and the fact that there is little mention of fan injuries in the literature, he said. Janigian conducted his research by performing searches online and contacting baseball teams directly, with four teams agreeing to take a survey. Overall, Janigian found that there were approximately 35 instances of fan injuries between 2010 and 2014, including a bizarre case where a fan was blinded by a hot dog thrown into the stands by the Kansas City Royals’ mascot Sluggerrr.

And in what turned out to be day’s winning presentation, Richard Hanna, a BS/MS student at Drexel University, discussed his work improving digital models of child safety restraint systems (CRS). Specifically, Hanna has been using the XBOX Kinect motion detection gaming device to build accurate 3-D models of CRS devices. “CRS designs are in a constant state of flux,” Hanna said, which can lead to confusion and misuse, but having better models can help ameliorate that.

"The Center for Injury Research and Prevention's annual Student Research Day event offers students the chance to show off their work, and this year was no different. This year's impressive presentations showed the impact students make during their time at CIRP. We're so proud of everything they accomplished," said Carol Murray, MSS, MLSP, the Center's training manager.

To learn more about the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, and Center’s educational programs, see the CIRP website.

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