Teens can explore health care careers at camp

NIU health careers camper - 2010NIU’s Exploring Careers in Health and Human Sciences Camp is scheduled the week of July 22 through July 27.

Those days will prove busy ones for high school campers coming to NIU to learn about health care careers.

Not only will they become involved in hands-on learning labs, they will also be assigned to teams of fellow “Disease Trackers” to determine the origin of a massive outbreak on campus and see what life is like through the eyes of an aged person.

Each day of the camp will be packed with visits to various health related labs on campus, learning activities and challenging games.

The campers’ busy agenda also includes:

  • “Becoming” an aged person and visiting a local assisted living facility.
  • Collaborating with a team to design an action plan to halt the spread of an outbreak as well as prevent it from happening again.
  • Extending a helping hand to the community by volunteering at a local homeless shelter.
  • Competing in a game modeled on the CBS reality TV program “The Amazing Race” that requires students to complete tasks based what they have learned to progress to the finish.
  • Hearing a presentation from a CSI followed by analyzing a “crime scene” complete with blood spatter analysis.

NIU undergraduate students from several health and education programs will serve as counselors and mentors to the campers. The campers will be housed in the residence halls at NIU, allowing them to experience the college environment.

A final component takes place Friday afternoon when parents will join the campers and hear about their accomplishments during the week through presentations by their sons and daughters.

“The campers are excited because this experience gives them a chance to see other areas of health care they might not have considered,” said Stacy Jackson, outreach coordinator for the College of Health and Human Sciences. “Some arrive with the idea that, ‘What I really want to do is physical therapy.’ Then they see what public health has to offer, or what clinical laboratory science is about, and then they think, ‘I might be better fitted for another.’ ”

Applications and more information are available online.

The application deadlines have been extended and numbers of students to be accepted increased due to the interest shown in this camp. For more information, call (815) 753-0031 or email sljackson@niu.edu.

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