FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence high school students celebrated STEM Day on Wednesday by having a hands-on experience with state-of-the-art robotic surgery technology used by physicians at MUSC Health Florence.

MUSC hopes the educational event teaches students about other career paths in the field of medicine and robotics.

Students were taught how each robotic technology operates. Students learned about surgical techniques and were able to operate fully-functional, full-size robots like the ones physicians use.

“We’re really honored to have the students here and we hope that we can inspire the next generation of health care providers,” Said Dr. Hatem Abdallah, director of robotics surgery at MUSC.

Students were served lunch and sat through a lecture with Abdallah.

One technology in particular, the robotic bronchoscopy, allows physicians to detect lung cancer earlier. MUSC says it was the first in the state to do a robotic-assisted bronchoscopy.

Some of the students at the event were surprised that technology has evolved like it has.

“I didn’t know that you could control robots by yourself,” said Quasir Moore, a student with Florence 1 Schools. “I thought you had to use regular scissors and stuff.”

MUSC said STEM day was also a celebration for MUSC reaching a milestone of 1,000 robotic surgeries in two years.

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Taylor Ford is a digital journalist for News13. She joined the News13 team in January 2023. Taylor is a Florence native and covers the Pee Dee out of News13’s Florence Bureau. Read more of Taylor’s work here.