Event inspires next generation of health care heroes
Wearing face masks, disposable gowns and surgical gloves, Giuliana Malia Camacho and Kaitlyn Makayla Rosas carefully examined the subject on the operating table – they suspected a mass in the brain was putting the health of their “patient” at risk.
They searched for the tumor using a black light before finding it and successfully cutting it from the brain. Total operating time was just a few minutes, compared to hours for a real brain surgery.
Camacho and Rosas beamed with happiness after their successful surgery on the gelatin brain and tumor. It was another fun “medical adventure” during Medventure for Your Future on Jan. 29 at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
“My favorite part of Medventure for Your Future is the brain dissection – it was awesome,” Rosas, a 7th grader, said.
“It exceeded my expectations,” Camacho, a 6th grader, said of the event. “I wasn’t expecting to find
Jell-O tumors in our Jell-O brains today.”
The experience helped solidify Camacho’s desire to go into the health care field as a nurse to care for people.
The popular Medventure for Your Future educational experience for youngsters at TTUHSC El Paso returned to in-person learning this year after going virtual in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 550 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders and their parents from throughout El Paso County attended the free, day-long event on the TTUHSC El Paso campus. The goal of Medventure for Your Future is to build interest in the health sciences at a young age.
Sparking an interest during middle school and advising them along a science-and-health-related educational path helps students become competitive when pursuing STEM degrees and health professions, organizers said.
“We started this event at TTUHSC El Paso 11 years ago with the goal to inform our community, our young people, and their parents about career opportunities in health care, and all the sciences that STEM stands for,” said René André, M.B.A, TTUHSC El Paso’s Assistant Director of Outreach Programs.
André is seeing students who attended years ago as middle schoolers return as high school and college volunteers at Medventure for Your Future.
“They’re staying in what we call ‘the pipeline to health care,’” André said. “We’re looking to see how many have actually gone into nursing or are still on the road to health care.”
The one-day event offers hands-on science workshops and teaches parents ways to encourage their children toward the health sciences.
“What You Can’t See Can Hurt You” (microscopic items)
“Nutrition for Disease Prevention” and
For the first time, this year’s Medventure for Your Future featured a DJ for motivational musical fun. There also were two photo booths to freeze-frame special memories.
A special thank you to Medventure for Your Future’s presenting sponsors: FirstLight Federal Credit Union and El Paso Electric; and our other generous event sponsors:
- El Paso Children’s Hospital
- Yagel Therapy Services, PLLC
- Ricardo Reyna, M.D.
- Medical Center of the Americas
- Star Kids Pediatric Dentistry
- El Paso Veterinary Medical Association
- Grand Canyon University
- Ysleta Independent School District
- University Medical Center of El Paso
Check out our photos from Medventure for Your Future: