For the third consecutive summer, Alamance Community College hosted dozens of Alamance County minority male 6th-8th graders for the 2019 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.
In partnership with the Alamance-Burlington School System and the UNC School of Medicine, ACC facilitated the camp to address a growing national and statewide problem – the gross under-representation of minority men in medical fields.
“This camp creates an immersive STEM experience. Students complete interactive science labs and STEM activities using comprehensive curricula from Carolina Biological. Students interact with minority male mentors in medicine and science who encourage and prepare students for the future. We visit colleges, businesses, and medicine-related organizations so students can see the impact they can make in these areas.” said Lakeisha Vance, coordinator of the program.
The camp ran July 8-26.
Over the three weeks of the camp, the students dove deep into topics such as cell structure and function, genes and molecular machines, and environmental engineering. They explored these topics using hands-on exercises from a curriculum developed by Carolina Biological, Inc., located in Alamance County. In addition to science, students learned about coding, biotechnology, and engineering. This made 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 first spent an entire week at the UNC School of Medicine working with medical professionals and medical students.
“We are proud of the leaders that have emerged over the first two summers. Some students will experience the camp for the third year and be mentors for the new students. The engagement of the parents, students, and staff is phenomenal. Together, we educate and build a community,” 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 education.