ONTARIO — Eighth-graders are preparing to take the next big step in their educational careers, moving into high school next year. The Malheur Youth Health Science Day held Thursday and Friday was designed get the students thinking about their future jobs/careers, exposing them science, engineering and health occupations.

About 500 Malheur County students, split between the two days, stopped in at Treasure Valley Community College and Four Rivers Cultural Center for different aspects of the event. They were given instruction in hands-only CPR, to beat of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees; given a demonstration on how the body responds to the flu virus; challenged to create, observe and identify major animal cell structures and relate structures to their functions; and imitate nurses by using math to determined flow rates of intravenous fluids.

Besides the college, the program was provided by Malheur Education Service District, Frontier STEM HUB, the Oregon State University Extension Services and Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario, with sessions taught by TVCC instructors and other professions.

One session was a panel of health care professionals set up for students, who were encouraged to ask about care preparation, career daily life and preparing for success.

Barbara Brody, extension agent and one of the coordinators of the events, said the Health Science Day was started in 2017 as a way to expose youths to health and science careers and careers in related fields.

In addition to experience in the classroom, students were able to rub shoulders with college students, who accompanied them around to the different sessions.

The program showed the students there are paths to jobs and careers in the health and science fields at just about any level of post high school levels, be it community college, junior college, tech school or four-year university.

“Are you ready (for your future)” was the theme of the Health Science Day. “Are you ready’ was often used phrase by the late Cash Troyer, who died in a rafting accident.

Nate Rawlinson, PHD, chemistry professor, shared his enthusiasm for teaching and participating in the event.

“It’s great to see kids have a learning moment,” he said, when their faces light up when they understand a new concept.

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