In partnership with Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) of the UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility developed a new environmental health focused program for Morehead’s SciVentures summer camp for middle school students. “Journey Inside the Cell” introduces students to the hidden lives of cells through hands-on learning experiences and exposure to UNC scientists conducting cutting-edge research to promote health and fight disease.
Fifteen students participated this week, and another sixteen will attend a second session next week. The week offers a mix of hands-on activities, including microscopy, along with lab tours and interaction with scientists studying cells to make the hidden lives of cells visible to the students. “This camp is unique in that students are getting out of the science classroom and into laboratories to gain in-depth exposure to the kinds of questions scientists are currently asking about cells, including how cells interact with their internal and external environment in the promotion of diseases such as breast and skin cancer” says CEHS science educator, Dana Haine. Students demonstrate mastery of concepts through daily blogging and a final, cell-inspired art project.
In 2013, the COEC also partnered with Morehead to offer an environmental health themed SciVentures camp titled “Our Air, Our Water, Our Homes.” According to COEC Director, Kathleen Gray, “Partnering with Morehead not only enables us to share CEHS science broadly but also gives us another avenue to spark the interest of young learners in environmental health.”