June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.283.1 - 26.283.19
Bioengineering Global Health: Design and Implementation of a Summer Day Camp for High School Students Summer camps present opportunities for students to expand their knowledge of science andengineering principles and applications, acquire hands-on experience in laboratory techniques,and increase interest in pursuing college degrees and careers in science and engineering.Although many engineering summer camps for high school students are offered throughout thecountry, few are focused specifically on bioengineering.In this paper, we present our approach to designing a summer day camp that is unique in itsfocus on bioengineering and use of a global health theme. We chose global health because it isan intriguing topic that appeals to students from all backgrounds and is accessible to studentswith variable previous exposure to science and engineering topics. Furthermore, global healthapplications clearly demonstrate important bioengineering design principles and showcase thepositive impact bioengineers make on society. These considerations are especially important forstudents from groups that are under-represented in science and engineering. To our knowledge,this is the only currently available summer camp in which high school students explorebioengineering in the context of global health.The goals of this program included: 1) increasing understanding of science and engineeringconcepts, 2) increasing knowledge of the field of bioengineering, 3) engaging students ininvestigating how bioengineers help society, 4) providing students an opportunity to apply theengineering design process in a team project, 5) increasing student confidence in solvingbioengineering problems, 6) fostering interest in taking science and engineering classes in highschool and college, and 7) cultivating interest in attending [name of institution].The curriculum for the one-week program consisted of short lectures, team-based problemsolving activities, research lab tours, and an interactive information session with currentbioengineering undergraduates at [name of institution]. Topics included the engineering designprocess, molecular biology of infectious disease, synthetic biology, drug delivery in HIVtreatment, and low-cost point-of-care diagnostics. Students were encouraged to have informalconversations with undergraduate and graduate student guest instructors during lunch. As aculminating end-of-camp activity, students worked in teams to design solutions to currentproblems in global health and presented their projects to peers and guests.Students provided both quantitative and qualitative assessment of the camp through pre- andpost-camp surveys. Student assessment data indicate that the camp was effective in increasingstudents’ self-assessed knowledge about science and engineering and the bioengineering field,and the camp increased the participants’ desire to attend college at the host institution in thefuture. Students enjoyed the team project of designing a solution to a problem in global health.In conclusion, we developed a unique summer camp that allows high school students to explorebioengineering principles through global health applications. Focusing on global health helped usdesign a curriculum that is interesting and accessible to students from diverse backgrounds. Thiscamp will serve as a model for future offerings, as student assessment indicates that it was anenjoyable and effective learning experience for high school students.
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