Spider Man, dancing spaghetti at HCC-NE college for kids

What do Spider Man, dancing spaghetti, and 200 kids in surgical caps and masks have in common? They were part of Health Careers Day at the College for Kids program at Houston Community College-Northeast Health Careers Day was the second session in the five-week program. Dr. Charlesetta Deason, principal HISD’s Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, was chairperson of the session. On the first Saturday, the students were introduced to careers in fine arts. The youngsters were entertained by professional dancers and musicians and viewed works of art by both local and world-renowned artists.

During Health Careers Day they were delighted by a visit from Spider Man, given free surgical caps and masks, and created “Mr. Germ” toys to take home with them.

John Galiotos, Ph.D., FAIC, chair of the Chemical Laboratory Technology, Process Technology and Biotechnology programs at the College, dressed as Spider Man and enthralled the kids using science technology techniques to make spaghetti dance and chemicals produce huge clouds of smoke when he mixed them together.

Linder Sneed, instructor in the Health Careers Department at HCC-Southeast, discussed various careers in the health professions, and gave each child a surgical cap and mask to wear.

Rhonda Raford-Adams, program director of Art Angels Healing Arts Program, explained the benefit of art and similar projects in the healing process. She then handed out sponges, pipe cleaners, and other household materials and let each youngster create his or her concept of “Mr. Germ”.

Sponsored by HCC-Northeast, in partnership with HISD, Project GRAD USA, and the National Congress of Black Women-Houston Chapter, College for Kids is designed to allow elementary and middle school students to explore various career paths and opportunities for the future.

After completion of the seminars, the youngsters will be paired with individual mentors from Northeast College who will follow their progress and assist them through high school. The ultimate goal of the program is to significantly increase the high school graduation and college attendance rates of students in Houston’s northeast communities.

“I am so pleased with the success of this pilot program,” stated Northeast College President Margaret Forde, Ed. D.

“Ms. Patsy Flowers, whom I’ve appointed director of the College for Kids program, has done a splendid job,” she said.

“Working with Dr. Laurie Ballering of Project Grad and our other partners, she has created sessions that are educational and informative; yet keep the youngsters on the edge of their seats,” she added.