Buies Creek, N.C.-Staphylococcus, e-Coli and Salmonella are some of the bacteria students got to analyze and experiment on at the Campbell University School of Pharmacy SciPharm Summer Camp, July 6-10. Designed to expose high school students to science career opportunities, the camp is funded by a grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Student Science Enrichment Fund for the High School Science Seminar program (HSS).
"Imagine layers and layers of chain link fence, topped by saran wrap and a thick covering of jello," said Dr. Terri Hamrick, explaining the process of getting antibiotics into gram negative or very potent bacteria. "You've got to get the jello to the bottom of the chain link fence to kill the bacteria."
Following her lecture, Hamrick took the group of 14 students to a third-floor lab where they tested chemical compounds for antibiotic properties.
Through lectures and hands-on experience, Hamrick, an assistant professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and other faculty members from the School of Pharmacy introduced the students to the many facets of a professional career in pharmacy and health sciences during the week. Dr. Valerie Clinard, associate director of the Drug Information Center, spoke to students about the center and the important function it performs. Other faculty members covered a multitude of career interests, from pharmacy practice to bio-manufacturing.
"I want to either go into pharmaceutical science or meteorology," said 16-year-old Nakiya Whitfield, of Spring Lake, N.C. "This is a good experience. It's both fun and informative. I've learned a lot."
Hunter Parda, of Linden, N.C., a student at Overhills High School, wants to learn more about pharmacy because he's interested in helping people. "I take medicine too and some people don't help you a lot," he said. "This camp shows you what types of pharmacy you can pursue, what's good for you and what's not."
Harnett Central student Jonathan Pagan, of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. agreed. "I know I want to be in the medical field, but I'm not sure yet what I want to be," said Pagan. "Maybe this can point me in the right direction."
This isn't the first HSS program Trey Joseph, of Lillington, N.C., has attended although the Harnett Central High School student already knows what field he would like to work in.
"I want to go into cancer research," he said. "I've learned a lot through these HSS programs. This is really, really cool."
For more information about the Campbell University School of Pharmacy Sci-Pharm Summer Camp, contact Emily Bloom, associate director of Science Education Outreach at the Campbell University School of Pharmacy, 910.893.1842 or 1.800.334.4111, ext. 1842.
Photo Copy: Harnett Central High School student Trey Joseph prepares to conduct an experiment on chemical compounds during the Campbell University SciPharm Summer Camp.