Cameron University’s sixth annual Science Detectives Summer Academy, a collaborative effort of Cameron's Southwest Area Heath Education Center (SwAHEC), Department of Biological Sciences, and Department of Education, recently hosted 55 eighth, ninth and tenth grade students from across Oklahoma. Participants were introduced to methods of collecting samples in the field and to conducting scientific tests in a laboratory.
“Science Detectives Summer Academy is an opportunity for high school students to get a glimpse of what college life and scientific study will be like,” says Dr. Joe Langley, Director of SwAHEC and the summer academy. “They stay in the dormitories, eat in the cafeteria, and work in the laboratory similarly to what they will experience in college.”
Vivian Armitage, Oklahoma City, and Noah Lyons, Tulsa, collect samples at the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge during Cameron University's Science Detectives Summer Academy.
Academy participants conducted research to determine if domesticated cattle have developed higher antibiotic resistance compared to wild animals. Findings were expected to reflect more antibiotic resistant bacteria in domesticated cattle as they are often given antibiotics in their feed. The students collected samples of waste matter from bison and longhorn cattle at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge as well as from agriculturally grown cattle. Working in the lab, where they were mentored by public school science teachers under the supervision of Cameron University science faculty, they determined that antibiotic resistance was indeed higher in domesticated cattle. However, the findings of antibiotic resistance found among the animals from the refuge were also surprisingly high.
Participants also toured Comanche County Memorial Hospital, where they learned about a variety of departments, including nursing, radiology, pharmacy, medical technology, and ambulance, as well as Great Plains Technology Center, where they were introduced to the Project Lead the Way Biomedical program.
The Science Detectives Summer Academy is one of the science and mathematics summer academies sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. There is no charge to attend.
June 7, 2012