BHSU Expands Annual HealthCORE STEM Summer Camp to Include Middle Schoolers

Middle schooler at the HealthCORE Summer Camp with lab gear on

Baptist Health Sciences University (BHSU) and Baptist Memorial Health Care hosted 52 high school students and 26 middle school students from the tristate area for the third HealthCORE STEM Summer Camp. This year marked the first time middle school students attended the camp, as well as the first time the Blue Healer Student Success Center participated, helping students with critical thinking, budgeting skills and math and science.

The camp is part of the Baptist HealthCORE community outreach initiative to help students interested in health care professions alleviate health care worker shortages and eliminate health disparities.

Middle school students attended camp from Monday, June 3, through Friday, June 7, while high school students attended from Monday, June 10, through Thursday, June 13.

The summer camps immersed students in the world of health care and offered opportunities to learn about fields most students weren’t aware existed. Each week included laboratory exercises, clinical observation, tours and educational events.

Campers enjoyed such activities as sheep eyeball dissection, modeling the spread of germs, a “Friday night in the emergency room” activity and a field trip to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Crittenden. Through group activities, campers learned about basic first aid, mental and spiritual health, virus identification and treatment, music and health, health care professions, medical history, interprofessional education, medical laboratory science, organs, and injuries and treatment. There was also time for swimming and a cookout.

Campers’ parents shared their children’s reactions. One parent said, “My high schooler loved the frog dissection and could identify all the organs.” Another parent wrote, “My student made a commitment to go into health care after attending the camp.”

Lilian Nyindodo, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.S., chair and associate professor of biomedical sciences for BHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and co-chair of BHSU’s HealthCORE initiative, and Briana Jegier, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of health administration, public health and the community health worker program and co-chair of BHSU HealthCORE, led the camp. BHSU faculty and staff, community partners and Baptist team members also helped make the camp a success by leading activities and teaching campers about their fields. Camp counselors with the Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center joined again this year to help campers and participate in activities.

The camp had eight camp counselors, up to 20 daily faculty and student volunteers, and 19 presenting faculty members each week.

If you are interested in volunteering for the camp, providing an activity or supporting this effort, please email [email protected].

Group of students holding certificates Two summer camp students signing a shirt two students with lab gear on participating in an experiment

male students gathered with Rev. Norman watching an experiment  a student testing an experiment two students with lab gear on

two students with lab gear on and professor Riley with a microphone talking to them student answering a question in a microphone student talking in a microphone

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