In the gross anatomy class at the Madisonville Community College's Summer Youth College, students held pig brains in their hands and with the help of their teacher, Charity Williams, dissected a pig's eye in order to learn how the human body works.

While standing over a sanitized work station, students gasped when Williams lifted the lid off the small white box that housed the pig brains. Williams is one of nine teachers at the youth camp, and this is her fifth year working the camp. Her class is action-packed from the beginning. Students answered questions quickly and accurately to the previous day's lesson on how the brain, heart and lungs function so that they can learn more on their day's subjects -- how the brain and eyeball work in conjunction.

"The kids want to learn. It's not monotonous. It's something new, different and hands-on. That's why I enjoy teaching here," said Williams, "Whenever the kids are really excited about what they are learning, you can tell, and that makes it all better."

Each student took turns holding and feeling different

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pig brains.

"This is so cool," said Jaylin Perdue, 9, a student from Hanson Elementary as she raised a pig's eye to her face.

At this year's camp, there were 132 registered campers, said MCC's Continuing Education Coordinator and Camp Director Brianna Crowley. The camp began on Monday and went through Thursday.

"We started the camp as a way to introduce elementary-age kids to the college environment and to the changing class settings like in high school and college," said Crowley.

Each camper chooses three classes they want to take. The Summer Youth College offers nine different classes each year for the campers to choose from. This year, Crowley said they offered yoga, ukulele, outdoor survival skills, creative cooking, gross anatomy and so much more.

"The Summer Youth College gives kids an opportunity to see and touch and learn things that they never would have," said Williams, "And that's priceless. It certainly is a valuable program."

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