Students from Mindbender Academy in the Frisco Independent School District spent part of their summer break learning about the health sciences at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

The four-day camp for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) middle school students started with a mock scenario of a car crash. The Frisco Police Department and Frisco Fire Department helped stage the scene with five mock patients. First responders arrived in a fire truck and ambulance. They explained how they respond to an accident and what information they would collect. It was a chance for students to learn about trauma and EMS firsthand. The trauma team from Texas Health Plano led a Stop the Bleed course and taught them about disaster triage.

“It’s a huge production. We have at least six departments involved including Frisco ISD, Frisco Police and Frisco Fire,” said Sarah Batres, the program coordinator at Texas Health Plano. “Students are able to learn about different areas of health care they may not have thought about.”

50 students were divided into two camp sessions. Each day combines in-class learning with hands-on activities. Caregivers from Texas Health taught them about emergency medicine, radiology and working in a lab. They also collected evidence for a forensic science course and learned the basics of nursing by taking their blood pressure and heart rate.

Read more: Support the American Heart Association at Homerun with Heart

On the final day of camp, students and their chaperons got a behind-the-scenes look at Texas Health Plano. They toured the hospital’s emergency department, radiology, pharmacy and lab.

“This a unique opportunity for middle schoolers,” Batres said. “They’re getting a firsthand look at how a hospital operates and for many of them it’s the first time they’re seeing these machines up close.”

Dressed in protective clothing known as a bunny suit, the middle schoolers tried their hands at robotic surgery in the operating room.

“My favorite part was working with the robot,” said Zeina Kachkouche, an 8th grader at Mindbender Academy. “This experience will really help me when I become an orthopedic surgeon someday.”

Texas Health Plano has been involved in the camp for the past five years. Texas Health employees who participated received community time off (CTO). The camp is funded through the Frisco Education Foundation. Parents also pay a fee for their child to participate and the rest is an in-kind donation. 

avatar of aayushi pramanik

Aayushi Pramanik

Aayushi Pramanik is a student at Williams College. When not working or studying economics and math, she enjoys dancing, singing, and taking countless photos with her camera.