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Learning how to remove calculus from teeth and checking plaque build-up at the School of Dental Hygiene.

Students show up for work, have way too much fun

November 8, 2016 — 

Grade 9 students who participated in Take Our Kids to Work Day at the U of M got to observe much more than one adult’s job.

The Canada-wide Take Our Kids to Work Day initiative encourages Grade 9 kids to spend a day at the workplace of a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host. On Nov. 2, as in past years, the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences took part by providing a day-long program of interactive learning that exposed students to a wide range of careers in the health sciences.

“It’s interesting, because if you go with your parent, they only have one job. But with this (program), you get to look at microbiology, orthodontics, and a bunch of different careers,” said 14-year-old Jenna Solomon, a Grade 9 student at St. Mary’s Academy.

Another student wrote about the experience, “Today I learned about how many different health professions there actually are that I never knew about.”

More than 40 Grade 9 students from across Winnipeg rotated through hands-on workshops at the four Rady Faculty of Health Sciences colleges on the Bannatyne campus.

In the Clinical Learning and Simulation Facility, students learned to perform CPR in a “code blue” situation and use ultrasound on mannequin “patients.” The Max Rady College of Medicine department of medical microbiology introduced students to microscopes and taught them how to examine samples on slides.

During a session in the College of Dentistry lab, students tried their hands at bending wire for orthodontics. At the School of Dental Hygiene, they simulated removing calculus from teeth and used discolouring tablets to check how much plaque was hiding in their mouths.

College of Pharmacy students led the Grade 9 visitors in learning to make sunscreen. Sessions at the College of Rehabilitation Sciences saw students introduced to physical therapy and occupational therapy. They tried out equipment such as a grip-strength meter, wheelchairs, and OT tools such as eating utensils for patients who have limited motor skills.

Jacob Marks, a 13-year-old Grade 9 student at Gray Academy, is interested in becoming a doctor and said he enjoyed his day of investigating careers in the health sciences.

“It was fun. I learned a lot of things,” he said. “I liked the CPR thing with the robotic dummy, and when we got to make sunscreen in Pharmacy, I liked seeing the antique medicines.”

Jacob particularly enjoyed the activities in medical microbiology. He had only used a microscope once before. “This was way better,” he declared.

Grade 9 students who “went to work” at the Fort Garry campus also got to sample a wide range of career possibilities. At new interactive workshops in the Faculty of Arts, they handled artifacts from other cultures and civilizations in the anthropology lab and explored lighting effects and camera work in the film and media lab.

The students participated in a career exploration game and career fair, where they explored the fields of information technology, security services, marketing, trades and athletic therapy, to name a few. Students also visited the active living centre and learned about building and design from the student-run Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in the Faculty of Engineering.

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