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Collaboration provides Winter Health Camp for gifted Castle Dome students

A new collaboration between Arizona Western College Career and Technical Education, the AWC Foundation, Northern Arizona University, and the Yuma County Health Department will provide 20 gifted students at Castle Dome Middle School with an opportunity to attend a free Winter Health Camp.

This three-day camp will give students a chance to participate in interactive workshops on germs, diseases, and antibodies.The camp will be held from Dec. 17-19, at the AWC Yuma Campus and will culminate with an awards reception.

"The AWC Science Division is very excited to be partnering with CTE and our four-year partner, NAU, to provide this great opportunity to expose students to sciences related to health careers with this camp. This is a wonderful chance to spark their interest and get them thinking about a future career in the health sciences," said Dr. Joann Chang, Professor of Biology at AWC.

The goal is to expand the partnership in the future to offer a summer camp for all gifted students from Yuma Elementary School District 1.

"Early experience in biomedical science is a key component in pursuing a successful career in the health sciences.  This health careers boot camp is a great introduction for aspiring students to get that exposure," said Dr. Francisco Villa, Clinical Professor of Biology & Environmental Science at NAU-Yuma.

This is one of the many grow-your-own initiatives that have been led by AWC and its partners in hopes that these same students will one day fill needed health sciences positions within Yuma County.

“Health Programs at AWC are series of connected education that build upon one other and lead to successively higher credentials and employment opportunities in growing health related occupations for our communities,” said Reetika Dhawan, Dean of Career and Technical Education at AWC.


Monday Dec. 17 – Germs Workshop (8:30-11:30 a.m. in AS 112)

During this workshop students will learn about bacteria and viruses. Students will participate in a hands-on activity to learn about why germs make us sick, how they’re spread, and how to stay healthy.  They’ll also learn the difference between chronic conditions and communicable diseases. (Diana Gomez, Yuma County Public Health Services District Director)

Tuesday, Dec. 18 – Disease Detective Workshop (8:30-11:30 a.m. in AS 112)

Students will learn about how to identify a disease outbreak during this workshop. An interactive activity will illustrate the investigative process to determine the source of outbreaks. Students will also learn about environmental factors that can influence the spread of disease. (Maria Nunez, Yuma County Public Health Services District Deputy Director)

Wednesday, Dec. 19 – Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) (8:30-10:30 a.m. in AS 105)
Students will review the structure and function of antibodies and how they are applied during this workshop. They’ll also have an opportunity to detect infected samples using ELISA. (Dr. Francisco Villa, NAU-Yuma Associate Clinical Professor of Biology and Environmental Science and Dr. Joann Chang, AWC Professor of Biology)

Wednesday, Dec. 19 – Awards & Recognition (10:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in Francis Morris Board Room)
An awards reception will be held to recognize student achievements. The ceremony will be attended by students, parents, instructors, and camp partners.

Regina Abraham
Administrative Secretary
Arizona Western College
(928) 344-7656

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