Students become disease detectives for a day

An event on the campus of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine allowed more than 100 high school juniors and seniors from across central Pennsylvania to become detectives for a day.

DSI Chocolate Town brought together students, counselors and teachers from across Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York counties with health professionals to investigate an epidemiological mystery. Similar to crime scene investigations which have become popular through the CSI TV series, the students applied science, math, health and social studies skills to the in-depth analysis of a simulated disease outbreak.

The program, now in its third year, is made available to area students and educators through collaboration between Penn State College of Medicine, area education and career development specialists, and the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) of the National Institutes of Health. DSI Chocolate Town provides participants with the unique opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and interactive activities related to epidemics and public health careers.

At this year’s event, Stephen Ostroff, Pennsylvania’s acting physician general, headlined a list of speakers that also included several Penn State College of Medicine faculty members and other educators from across Pennsylvania.

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Last Updated January 12, 2012