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High school students compete at University of Minnesota for Golden Femur Award

April 25, 2013

Nearly 600 juniors and seniors from 20 high schools across Minnesota will compete at the University of Minnesota on April 30 for the coveted Golden Femur Award. As participants in College in the Schools, a concurrent enrollment program between the University and Minnesota and Minnesota high schools, the students will show off their knowledge of public health issues through participation in a college-level human anatomy and physiology course.

Teams of students will present to judges via table-top displays on the relationships between food choices, obesity, and public health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis during the field day event, which is supported by a grant from the UCare Fund.  After evaluating each team’s work, the judges will award the Golden Femur to first-place winners. Second and third place finishers will be awarded the Silver Scapula and Bronze Ulna, respectively. All students competed first at their high schools to qualify for a spot at the university event.

The all-day event, which starts at 9 a.m. in the Great Hall of Coffman Union, includes University speakers and other group activities on health, lifestyle, and dietary choices. Students also have the opportunity to interact with a diversity of students from urban, suburban, and out-state schools.

Murray Jensen, associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, began offering the course six years ago. "We expect a lot of these kids," Jensen says. "We want them to experience not only what it is like to be college students, but also to begin to take on the role of health care advocates."

This event and related course trips and materials for high school students and teachers are sponsored by the UCare Fund under a theme of Smart and Active Students, Strong and Healthy Communities.  "The UCare Fund’s sponsorship of the College in the Schools program is a great example of how we like to support the education of tomorrow’s health care leaders," says Ghita Worcester, UCare’s senior vice president of public affairs and marketing. "We are pleased to be a part of this event that brings together high school students from across the state to promote healthy communities."

College in the Schools courses provide both high school and university credit. All teachers are selected, prepared and continuously supported through discipline-specific, university-led professional development workshops and through classroom observations by university faculty.

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