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Learning Taken To Next Level At Liberty Science Center As Students Get Up Close Look At Surgery

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- For most kids learning science is done with textbooks and an experiment or two, but a new program at the Liberty Science Center is taking a different approach.

CBS 2's Katie McGee was part of a packed house inside of the interactive theater at the science center Tuesday as students from several Tri-State Area schools got a first-hand look at the life of a surgeon.

The demonstration was part of the "Live From..." program which was started in 1998. The program involves students watching and interacting with surgeons while they perform medical procedures via video conferencing.

Tuesday marked the first "Live From...Orthopedic" series, which was created as part of a partnership between the science center and the Jersey City Medical Center.

Doctor Kenneth Garay, the Chief Medical Officer at the Jersey City Medical Center, told CBS 2 that the program gives students an in-depth look at every part of the surgical process.

"It's an opportunity to really have almost a direct, in person, site visit to the operating room. So they can really see how everyone interacts in the room: the surgeon, the nurse, the technician, the anesthesiologist," Dr. Garay explained.

On Tuesday, students watched as Dr. Erica Rowe Urquhart performed a knee replacement on a patient. She detailed every step along the way.

As the procedure progressed the students were able to ask Dr. Urquhart and her team questions about the surgery. By watching a live operation the students developed a greater interest in science, Dr. Garay said.

"It's really exciting to see the interest and enthusiasm of these young students, who really are the healthcare professionals of the future," he said.

For older students the program may serve as a brief introduction to a future career.

"It really gives you first-hand experience whether you want to be in the medical field or not, like, if you can't take this and sit down and watch that, then it's obviously not right for you," said Nanuet High School senior Liam Reilly.

For medical professionals it provides the chance to serve as a teacher and a role model.

"Being able to serve as a role model, exposing the children to what we're doing in the operating room," Dr. Urquhart said.

The program operates year round and is open to students starting with the seventh grade. Each session is about two and half hours long and costs between $18 and $28 per student.

Have you taken part in the program? Let us hear about it in our comments section below...

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