DMU Hosts Medical and Health Sciences Camp to Inspire Underrepresented Boys

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines University had the future of medicine and health sciences in mind when they invited 200 elementary school boys to campus Saturday to learn all about opportunities in science.

For the second year, Des Moines University is hosting their
camp to introduce young boys grades 2 to 6 into the medical and health sciences
fields.

“I think it’s a great age because the earlier you get them involved, the more chances that they can take advantage of as they go through middle school and high school and into college,” DMU Pediatrics Club President Erin Woeste said.

DMU has hosted a similar camp for girls for more than 15 years
but decided to start a camp just for boys after learning that some are
underrepresented in the community.

“We created this event in response to statistics that showed that even though the number of African American medical school graduates was going up, the number of male African American graduates was going down. That started in 2015,” DMU Public Relations Manager Hanna De Geest said.

“It’s important for every child, no matter where they come from, their background, or anything like that to get a chance to see if it’s something that they are interested in,” said Woeste.

The club has dozens of different stations.

“You really see them starting to connect the dots and see that they could actually do this. It’s not something big and scary and hard. They could do it,” De Geest said.

The camp councelors are all DMU students.

“As far as I know, there’s no extra credit involved … They all volunteer because they want to be here. They are excited and they are passionate about what they do and they want to share that with the community,” Woeste said.

There is another free camp specifically for girls on the last weekend in March. You can sign up for GEMS (Girls Exploring Medicine and Science) at this link.

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