To provide experience in the preparation and presentation of community based health education seminars, Dr. Andrea Nazar, D.O. developed a Health Education Lab for second year students to prepare and present “healthy news” to schools, civic groups, senior citizen centers, etc. Medical students tailor the presentations to the intended audience and to the interests of the groups they are addressing.
On Mar. 10, Deborah W. Johnson, second grade teacher at Ronceverte Elementary School (RES), invited students from WVSOM’s, RES’s Partner in Education, to prepare and present a session to her students on dental health.
A group of eight second-year students (future doctors) and their facilitator, Carma Korman, presented an age-appropriate, informing, engaging, educational, hands-on and fun program that went hand-in-hand with the three week unit the second graders had studied on the mouth, teeth, tongue (taste buds), etc. (February is National Children’s Dental Health Month but the weather wasn’t cooperative).
“I was very impressed with the activities and centers the WVSOM students brought into my classroom. I even picked up a few things myself that I want to use with my students next year. I know a great deal of time and planning must have gone into the presentation,” Johnson said.
Each second grade student rotated in groups between three stations: 1) Foods/drinks that are or are not healthy for your teeth, 2) How to brush and floss your teeth the correct way, and 3) What can happen to your mouth, teeth and gums if you do not take care of them. WVSOM student Nathan Butler also left an experiment for the class, using large baggies, chicken bones, water and Coke. The class will be observing the effects of Coke over a period of six days on the bones. The observations will help show the possible effects of Coke on the enamel of the teeth.
“While walking around, observing my students in their centers, WVSOM student Shawn Carpenter was showing his group a large model of the upper and lower teeth that was connected by a flexible metal cord. He extended the teeth so that they were laying flat on the left and right. One of my students said to him, ‘You know your mouth won’t really do that, right?’ I couldn’t help but laugh because the student was serious,” said Johnson.
After the students rotated through the three centers, everyone returned to their seats. Student doctors were assigned to groups and participated in an identification quiz of the parts of a tooth and their functions using flash cards and the Smart Board. Out of the five groups, two groups tied with a total of 15 out of 16 points.
“This was a wonderful way for my students to review for their test and they were thrilled to have the WVSOM student doctors on their teams. They could tell from the interaction and exchange of information that the student doctors were enjoying themselves and having fun. They came in Friday morning still talking about the presentation,” said Johnson. At the end of the program, students were given a new Colgate Toothbrush to take home.
If your group or organization is looking for presenters on health issues, contact Larry Davis, Ph.D. at WVSOM at 304-647-6231 and schedule a presentation. “We’d love to have more groups and organizations contact us for presentations,” said Korman.