Emirati children given a chance to play CSI

The week-long Med-Camp 2013, which will take place at the Abu Dhabi campus of Khalifa University, begins on June 23.

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ABU DHABI // There is no room for the squeamish at the country's first summer camp aimed at attracting teenagers to working in the health sector.

Gory tasks includetaking on the investigator's role at a staged crime scene and dissecting a sheep's heart.

The week-long Med-Camp 2013, which will take place at the Abu Dhabi campus of Khalifa University, begins on June 23.

Forty Emirati pupils in grades 10 and 11from across the country - 20 boys and 20 girls - will be chosen to take part, said Dalia Raoof, the programme manager.

Preparations include training for the university's students, who will help run the camp and take part in mentoring the participants.

Ms Raoof has led six workshops to train volunteering students and gain feedback.

"One of our most successful activities was the crime scene activity," she said. "All the kids, they love CSI, they love their murder mysteries, so what we've done is found some awesome activities for crime scenes."

Thisinvolves trying to solve three different cases relying on tools such as fingerprint analysis, hair analysis or blood-spatter tests.

"They're going to learn the techniques about the importance of surveying a crime scene, collecting evidence, making sure not to move things around, who are the right people to talk to, interviewing possible suspects- I think the kids got really excited," Ms Raoof said.

The youngsters will also have the chance to dissect a squid.

"Because we've got such a limited time, we have to constrict to certain topics," Ms Raoof said."Obviously, we had 1,000 ideas to start with, including public health and epidemiology, but we've limited to first-aid training, microbiology, dissection and crime scenes."

Should the camp expand next year, more topics will be introduced, she said.

Med-Camp will inspire future generations of Emiratis to pursue careers in the medical and health sciences industries, said Ayesha Al Kaabi, the director.

"We are trying to concentrate on nationals," she said. "We want to give them the chance to discover the fun of health sciences, the fun of medical studies and medical knowledge."

The volunteers will also benefit from the event.

"It's a win-win situation because our students are given a chance to mentor the younger students and, at the same time, the school students will have a role model - local students who are just like them who studied science."

For more information on the camp and how to apply, visit www.kustar.ac.ae or www.research.net/s/medcamp.