For the second consecutive summer, Alamance Community College is hosting more than 40 Alamance County minority male 6th-8th graders for the 2018 Medical Bridge Summer Camp – a three-week intensive immersion into math, science and writing programs that lays the groundwork for success in medical and STEM careers.
ACC is facilitating the camp to address a growing national and statewide problem—the gross under-representation of minority men in medical fields.
Above, the young campers found frog dissection a fascinating hands-on learning activity.
“By the end of the camp, students learn about careers, participate in STEM activities, hear from minority male mentors in medicine and science, and visit colleges, businesses, and medicine-related organizations,” said Lakeisha Vance, coordinator of the program, and Department Head for Information Technologies at the college.
Over the three weeks of the camp, the students dive deep into topics such as cell structure and function, how organisms get energy, and different body systems. They explore these topics using hands-on exercises from a curriculum and supplied provided by Carolina Biological, Inc, located in Alamance County. In addition to science, students learn about coding, biotechnology, and engineering. This makes for a well-rounded STEM experience that supports problem solving and critical thinking.
In addition to the activities on the ACC campus, the young men spend an entire week at the UNC School of Medicine working with medical professionals and medical students. They also visit the BRITE Center at North Carolina Central University. Finally, to explore science in nature, they have a fun and engaging trip to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC.
“We are proud of the budding doctors, pharmacists, and dentists this program creates. More importantly, we are proud of the camaraderie and experiential learning that takes place during the three weeks of this camp,” said Vance.
The College hopes to seamlessly transition these students from middle school through high school and on into college course work for two years at ACC. Students then would transfer to a four-year college or university to continue their training.
The program is funded by the ACC Foundation.
Editor’s note: This perspective was originally published on the Alamance Community College website. It has been posted with the author’s permission.