Bay County Teachers Head to Summer Camp - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County Teachers Head to Summer Camp

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There's company you like to keep, such as friends you met at summer camp, and there are mosquitoes, the kind that never seem to leave you alone. 

However, some Bay County teachers are using mosquitoes to their advantage this week. They're attending "summer camp" at Florida State University's Panama City Campus and testing ways to repel one of summer's peskiest creatures.

"Mosquitoes, who hasn't been bitten by a mosquitoes," said Carol Flowers, a math teacher at Rutherford High School.

Under the direction of Dr. John Smith, a medical entomologist at FSU, the group is testing the effectiveness of five different mosquito repellents.

It's actually a fairly lengthy process. They essentially create a human model with artificial blood, collagen to act as human skin, and a water filter to keep the module at body temperature.

They divide the female mosquitoes into separate wells with different repellents. The males do not bite. Then determine the effectiveness based on how pests braved the repellent to get a bite into the collagen.

"Screening them in a technique like this gives you some information about how well they perform," said Smith.

He's been testing repellents for many years. When Smith first began testing, he and his colleagues used the spray on their legs. They moved towards the artificial models about eight years ago.

With this testing, not only are teachers like Flowers better protected this summer, they'll be able to take their experience into the fall.

"Not only has it given us great information to use in the classroom, but it's also modeled best practices, how we should be teaching," said Flowers.

Smith is instructing three different groups of teachers over three weeks. The third group will attend next week,