By Tobi Adeoye, Halifax Regional Centre for Education Student
Last summer PLANS (Promoting Leadership in health for African Nova Scotian) hosted health science summer camps in Halifax at Dalhousie University, Sydney at Cape Breton University and NSCC-Marconi Campus, and Antigonish at St. Francis Xavier University. Black students from across Nova Scotia in grades 8, 9, 10, and 11 submitted applications to attend. Tobi Adeoye first attended the health science camp at Dalhousie University in 2016, and in 2017 took the opportunity to attend all 3 camps – meeting new people and learning about postsecondary health programs in the province.
Here is her story.
Dalhousie University (July 9th- July 14th, 2017)
The first camp I went to was at Dalhousie University (Dal). There I noticed that the medical science field was more diverse than the other Universities. We did a lot of hands on learning throughout the week including audiology, speech language pathology and nursing.
Some of my favorite activities at Dal that week, was Kinesiology and how parts of our brains affect the way we move through fun games like Rats and Rabbits, and Catch. Another favorite was dentistry and dental hygiene where we learned the importance of brushing our teeth. We also put the skills learned is a test using a pink pill to reveal the plaque in our teeth and the proper way of brushing it away. We were given a fake tooth that had a cavity in it and taught how to drill and fill in the fake tooth with the help of the staff.
In the evenings, we met with some Black university students who helped us set goals and health professionals of African descent who informed us on what they do, and how they were able to get there.
Also during this week, Imhotep Legacy Academy came to talk to the campers about the programs and scholarships they offer to African Nova Scotian students. They gave a presentation about what they do, and illustrated how to measure acidity in a liquid with red cabbage juice, and the reaction when luminol is mixed with bleach – quite exciting stuff!
Cape Breton University (July 18th- July 21st, 2017)
At the Cape Breton University (CBU) camp, we visited NSCC-Marconi Campus. The instructors there talked to us about some of the programs they offer such as: practical nursing, continuing care assistance and cosmetology. We also got to play some fun games with the Human Services staff.
The next camp day, we learned about Sport and Physical Activity Leadership program offered at CBU. We played dodgeball in connection to the program. We also learned about the public health program and dressed up in personal protective wear (pictured). Later that afternoon, Cape Breton Business College visited us and we learned how to brush our teeth at a forty-five degree angle to get the plaque in between our gums. We also learned how to perform CPR on adults and children.
We ended the week at the CBU nursing school. There, we learned how to wash our hands, give needles, feed each other while we had visual impairment, take our blood sugar and do yoga.
St Francis Xavier University (July 23rd- July 26th, 2017)
Lastly, I attended the camp at St.FX and met more new people (pictured). There, we learned about various scholarships and bursaries offered students, the new Bachelor of Arts and Science in Health, and had a campus tour. Also, we learned about human kinetics: how it is related to sports and why we play sports as a pastime.
We visited the biology department and were taught how to extract DNA from strawberries and observed bones in animals. At the end of the session, we looked at animals through a microscope and touched sea anemones, starfish and hermit crabs.
The following day, we went to the School of Nursing to observe their new simulation laboratory and learned the different simulations that happens there. We had an art session where we drew shoes and our own image, by looking in a mirror and also drew an object with the help of a partner using their descriptions of the object. After that, we had a poetry session, make our own poem and perform as spoken word.
Finally, we went to the Department of Human Nutrition and built a package for an uncooked s’more that can withstand water, heat and damage from a four feet drop in the air while spending the least amount of money to make it.
From these experiences, I gained awareness about the entry requirements into all of these medical science field and vocational training course in NSCC. I now have a better understanding as to what these professionals do, and how they were able to get there. I am more confident and more determined to do my best at school to get into the program of my choice when I complete my high school education.
Conclusively, my exposure to all these programs in all these three camps has stimulated my appetite and aspiration to pursue a career in dentistry.
PLANS is accepting applications now for the 2018 summer programs at Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University, and Cape Breton University. Download the application here or talk to your local school!