Big ideas, big discoveries, and big names were shared Tuesday with Cariboo Chilcotin students.
For the first time, the BC Childen’s Hospital Research Institute hosted its Mini Med School in Williams Lake.
“We’ve had some great activities already this morning,” said Dr. Julie Bettinger who is an associate professor at the Vaccine Evaluation Center at BC Children’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia.
“We started off with my talk on the way diseases spread through the population and followed up with a jeopardy of science facts which we had a few of the tables that were quite competitive with each other and wanting to win the prize so it’s been a really fun morning so far.”
Manager with the Institute’s Research Education Office, Ashley Biggerstaff said close to 100 students took part.
“There are ten of us traveling and working on this program right now,” Biggerstaff said.
“We receive generous funding from BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and all the regional partners. Interior Health and the First Nations Health Authority have been great in helping us find local representatives and career experts. We couldn’t have done this without their help.”
Launched in Terrace three years ago, Mini-Med School was held last year in Fort St. John.
This year marks the first year it has held been in two locations in two days-Williams Lake and previously in Kamloops.
“I’m not a physician so I’m a great example of someone who does something in health services who’s not a physician, and I really got involved in vaccines by working internationally in South America and actually seeing children die from vaccine-preventable disease. That sparked my interest in the area and I’ve been working in it ever since,” Bettinger said.
“When I was in high school there were no mini-med schools going on, and I might have ended up in health sciences much earlier in my career had I had exposure to this at that age. I think it’s a great event for those who may be interested in science and even those who aren’t because often times you think of it in only one way and hopefully what they will take away from this is that there are a lot of different paths in science and there are a lot of different things you can do in science.”