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Students Learn to Give Back at Two Dell Children’s Camps

By on July 26, 2013 in Health News Texas with 0 Comments
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Prior to the day camp, a select group of local high school students worked with Austin based technology and video game experts in a two-day workshop developing active video games. Photo: Dell Children’s Medical Center

by Ed Lallo/Newsroom Ink

More than 100 students with with an interest in health, technology and active gaming, as well as those interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and giving back to their community through volunteering, gathered last week at Central Texas’ largest dedicated children’s hospital.

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Austin area students age 8 to 14 participated in Dell Children’s Volunteer Day Camp, a trade show-like opportunity showcasing the value of giving back to their community while learning the value of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Photo: Dell Children’s Medical Center

Austin area students ages 8 to 14 participated in Dell Children’s Volunteer Day Camp, a trade show-like opportunity showcasing the value of giving back to their community while learning the value of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Prior to the day camp, a select group of local high school students worked with Austin based technology and video game experts in a two-day workshop developing active video games.

Technology and education partners supervised the tech savvy students. Mentors conducted workshops in MaKey MaKey and Scratch programming.

Following the design workshops, students worked in small groups to use the technology to create health centric games. The developed games were presented to the children attending Volunteer Day Camp held later that same week.

“This event was our first collaboration bringing together science, art, technology, creativity and health to inspire kids to create health and movement promoting interactive video games while simultaneously learning about computer programming and electronics,” said Stephen Pont, MD, MPH medical director of the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity. “The end goal is to help kids be healthy, and this is a great example of a new way to engage kids in healthy themes through designing interactive low tech video games.

According to Dr. Pont the students learned to spread healthy messages and healthy behaviors while designing the games.

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Students learned to spread healthy messages and healthy behaviors while designing the games. Photo: Dell Children’s Medical Center

“These students are passionate about technology and electronics. Through this collaboration they can do what they love, and learn to be healthy at the same time!,” he explained. “The student designers are not the only ones to benefit, they also spread the healthy information and behaviors to their peers through playing the health-promoting games.”

Booths at the Volunteer Day Camp introduced students to various volunteer opportunities within hospitals and programs supported by Seton Healthcare Family

At one booth, students took turns sewing a quilt to be donated to Dell Children’s Medical Center, while at another they learned about pet therapy dogs who visit patients and their families in the hospital rooms. Students also participated in a tree planting in the new Dell Children’s Healing Garden.

“This event was one component within a broader initiative led by Marilyn Bostick and Dell Children’s Volunteer Services to cultivate volunteerism and servant hood in children of Dell Children’s employees,” said Dr. Pont.

Collaborating on the student project were Brent Dixon, designer and educator at Hackidemia  – a project that helps kids all over the world use technology, art, and design to address community challenges; David Conover, STEAM Video Game Design Instructor at Connally High School; and Adrian Lopez-Mobilia, an independent programmer and game designer.

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Collaborating on the student project with Dr. Stephen Pont (white shirt) were Brent Dixon, designer and educator at Hackidemia – a project that helps kids all over the world use technology, art, and design to address community challenges; David Conover, STEAM Video Game Design Instructor at Connally High School; Casey Enyeart(left), a UT School of Public Health grad student; and Adrian Lopez-Mobilia(not pictured), an independent programmer and game designer. Photo: Dell Children’s Medical Center


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