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Youth Engagement - Community Engagement Core (CEC)

MedSci Camp - Cincinnati Museum Center

cincinnati museum centerThe CEC partners annually with Cincinnati Museum Center’s MedSci Camp to educate 5th - 8th grade youth on the human health implications of environmental exposures. Graduate students from UC’s Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences create and lead educational presentations with complementary hands-on learning activities. The students develop real-world youth engagement communication skills and practice; youth participants are empowered to make decisions reflecting positive environmental health outcomes. Overall, it's a fun experience for everyone involved! See examples of past learning experiences below.

Past Learning Experiences

strawberry dna extractionStrawberry DNA - Air pollution and UV rays can genetically alter the DNA sequence, causing negative health impacts. Campers learned about these exposures (see picture at left) while participating in a lab experience extracting DNA from strawberries.

Microbes - Infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, affect our body's microbiome and how we respond to certain environmental substances. Campers seeded petri dishes with microbes from their surrounding environment and were able to see the results on the last day of camp.

romberg test for brain healthMedical Camp Romberg Test for Brain Health-Heart Health - The environmental toxin, dioxin, influences cardiovascular disease. Campers learned where dioxins come from, how dioxins can affect their health, and how to track their heart rates to determine heart health.

Brain Function - Environmental exposures negatively affect neurological function. Campers participated in a mock scenario where chemical "X" was dumped into the local drinking water source and affecting people's brains! Classic clinical tests, such as the Romberg Balance Test (see picture right), were used to teach campers about the connection between their brain and the rest of their body.


Endometriosis - Female Youth Empowerment

katie burns portraitCenter for Environmental Genetics (CEG) Pilot Project Program awardee, Dr. Katie Burns (Burns Laboratory, pictured right), collaborated with the CEC to create a translational infographic educating female youth on endometriosis and its connection to environmental exposures. Endometriosis, a gynecological disease, causes debilitating pain, increased infertility, and increased risk of ovarian cancer in 1 in 10 girls and women of reproductive age. Dr. Burns examines the effects of phthalates and bisphenols (man-made chemicals) on the development of endometriosis.

Endometriosis Facts:

  • Endometriosis can affect female youth as soon as they reach reproductive age
  • The number of women in the US with endometriosis equals the population of NYC
  • In the US, every 5 seconds a baby girl is born who will have to live with endometriosis
  • Girls with mothers or close female relatives with endometriosis are 5-7 times more likely to develop the disease
  • On average, it takes 10 years for a woman to be correctly diagnosed with endometriosis

Find the Burns Laboratory/CEC infographic here: Endometriosis & Environmental Exposures (PDF)

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Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences
Center for Environmental Genetics
Kettering Lab Building
Room 210
160 Panzeca Way
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0056
Mail Location: 0056
Phone: 513-558-3646