July 27, 2005

Future world leaders are learning how technology can solve problems in health care, transportation and communication this week in North Texas.

More than 125 teenagers from Germany, Japan, Italy, Swaziland, Hungary, Mexico and Fort Worth are taking part in the International Leadership Academy, sponsored by Fort Worth Sister Cities International. These high school studentsâ??chosen for their outstanding academic and personal achievements– develop leadership skills and learn how technology can and will impact the future while discussing the responsibility that goes along with scientific advances.

On Thursday, July 28, a group of the teens will visit the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.

The health science center event will offer a wide array of experiences for the young people:
-Students will visit the simulation lab, where a dummy patient will present symptoms and allow students to assess and diagnose his condition
-Theyâ??ll get a first-hand look at the gross anatomy lab, where dissection is guided by a computer
â?? Theyâ??ll receive an exciting introduction to DNA technology in the Texas Missing Persons DNA database and lab, located at the health science center
â?? Theyâ??ll meet and watch McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars â?? some of them international studentsâ??as they make presentations.

One goal of Thursdayâ??s visit is to encourage participants to consider the impact of technology on medicine. This could have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of many people. For instance, one of the students — 17-year old Nomthandazo â??Teeâ? Mdouli â?? is from Mbabane, Swaziland. The AIDS epidemic has left her country in crisis and medical professionals (doctors, caregivers, program administrators) are desperately needed. Recent figures indicate more than a third of Swazilandâ??s adult population (38 percent of adults aged 15-49) are infected with AIDS or HIV.

This is where the programâ??s emphasis on medical technology is so important â?? and the University of North Texas Health Science Center offers such a rich response to that theme. As in all of their experiences during the Fort Worth gathering, students and facilitators will talk about the responsible use of such technology in the global community.

The teenagers â?? who range in age from 14 to 19-years old â?? are meeting with local leaders in healthcare, transportation and communications and learning first-hand about the exciting opportunities technology offers in each of these fields. In addition to their classroom experiences and their field trips, students are soaking up Texas culture and building friendships with their hosts and each other. During their two-week stay, 65 Fort Worth families are opening their homes to the visiting students and their teachers.

###Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail kacolley@hsc.unt.edu.

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