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Pittsburgh Region Middle School Students Participate in Hands-on Tissue Engineering Summer Camp
Date:7/8/2008

ocated off Second Avenue at 300 Technology Drive, Pittsburgh.

Middle school campers will experience becoming members of a medical team dedicated to a difficult task and challenge related to sports injury. A local star athlete has a seriously damaged keen joint and traditional medical attempts at repair have been unable to restore him to peak performance. The challenge for the tissue engineering camper teams will be to, "boldly go where no surgeon has gone before as they seek to develop strategies and utilize technologies that will enable them to fabricate NEW tissue to replace the athlete's damaged knee joint. What technologies might be used? What experimental strategies can you imagine? What ethical considerations are raised by this scientific breakthrough? Through work with team members at camp headquarters and also at local tissue engineering laboratories and facilities, middle school campers will explore these questions and more.

Joan Schanck, Director of Education for the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative describes, "Through participation in the tissue engineering summer camp, we are helping students learn that science is so much more than just lists of factoids and formulas. By taking an inter-disciplinary approach, students are able to gain abilities to build scientific understanding and enhance communication skills. Students who are actively engaged in a hands- on, application-based approach to learning will be most likely to remember material. As well, the camp encourages students to think by requiring interpretation of observed events, rather than memorization. Overall Tissue Engineering Summer Camp promotes fun in the classroom for students who typically do not get one-on-one interaction in science for an entire week."

Components of the summer camp receive partial supported by Grant Number 1 R25 RR023286 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and by a Penns
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SOURCE Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
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