Students looking for free assistance with Medical College Admission Test preparation will soon be in luck, thanks in part to second-year University of Toledo medical student John Luckoski.
A tutor in the health science campus’ Academic Enrichment Center at the former Medical College of Ohio, Mr. Luckoski recently won two academic contests sponsored by Khan Academy.
He will get to fly to Mountain View, Calif. this week to work with a team of 11 other winners to create a series of 12 videos guiding students through preparation for the MCAT.
Mr. Luckoski, 24, of Dayton seems an ideal candidate for the task.
As a first-year medical student, he created tutorial clips for students in what he called “block one” classes, which involve cellular biology and biochemistry.
His supervisor, Joni Trempe, came up with the idea creating videos as a side project for the Academic Enrichment Center tutors, and Mr. Luckoski volunteered.
“It started off pretty rudimentary. I literally used my phone and just recorded myself drawing on a piece of paper with a pen and I just narrated what I was doing. That’s what I started with this past fall,” he said.
“I mostly just found topics and singular concepts in our lectures that maybe didn’t get covered well enough or maybe are more difficult so they need more time to focus on it, and I’d try to cover those in depth as much as I could in 5-to-10 minute videos.”
Mr. Luckoski heard about the Khan Academy contest in an email from one of UT’s faculty members and realized it essentially was what he was doing already for his own school.
For his application, he had to create three 5-to-10-minute videos covering anything related to MCAT content.
He spent roughly 10 hours drawing, narrating, and creating three videos, which is a large chunk of time considering his other medical school responsibilities.
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organization that offers free educational videos with the goal of “providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.”
The Web site’s founder, Salman Khan, is a former hedge fund analyst. Time Magazine placed him on its list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2012.
Along with the video competition, Mr. Luckoski won an article competition with Khan Academy. He is one of only three people to win both competitions.
For the second contest, Mr. Luckoski had to write two passages of 250 to 300 words each with five accompanying questions. He also had to submit a 1,000-word long-form article.
The 20 article competition winners have reviewed and edited their submissions with the Khan Academy via “webinars” over the past week.
The articles were reviewed by the Association of American Medical Colleges, which creates the MCAT every year, Mr. Luckoski said. “So there’s something official saying this really prepares you for the MCAT,” he said.
Mr. Luckoski hopes to continue working for the Khan Academy and its highly influential founder beyond his upcoming week in California.
“Assuming that I do a good job, they actually offer contracts out to work for the Khan Academy, specifically for the question and article competition,” he said.
“It’s tricky because they want a minimum of 10 hours a week. Theoretically, it’s entirely possible. So, if I can crank it into high gear and be productive enough and be efficient then I’m definitely interested in doing it.”
Contact Kathleen Ashcraft at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.