First-ever pre-vet camp yields positive feedback

June 30, 2003

PLATTEVILLE-Learning what veterinarians do in real life can be captivating. A group of high school students gathered around to observe surgical procedures and participate in hands-on activities at the first-ever University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pre-Vet Camp held in mid-June.

The two-day camp, held at the UWP campus and Pioneer Farm, went very well, said Alicia Prill-Adams, UWP animal science instructor and assistant farm manager. About 30 students participated in the camp.

A cat spaying procedure, conducted by local veterinarian Dr. Jackie Keiler held student attention, said Prill-Adams. "She did an excellent job connecting with the kids. They learned what goes on with a small-animal practice."

Student evaluations revealed the camp to be a success. "We got lots of positive feedback," Prill-Adams said.

"Some would recommend it and some wanted to come back and do additional activities," she added. "We wanted honest opinions."

The camp was held for students entering grades 10-12 and included a variety of sessions to observe and practice veterinary skills and techniques.

The experience was a special asset for those considering future careers with animals or those planning to apply to schools of veterinary medicine.

Prill-Adams said she and the other instructors plan to go through the evaluations more thoroughly. "We will be tweaking the curriculum, coming up with additional ideas. Next summer, we will probably offer at least two or three sessions."

With the new Pioneer Farm facilities- agriculture technology center, living and learning center and swine center - opening soon, the next Pre-Vet Camp will have more to offer.

The students all felt it was very worthwhile, said Prill-Adams. "They enjoyed coming out to farm and getting a lot of good information."


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