About 70 high school juniors and seniors from Peoria High School interested in pursuing dentistry and other STEM fields attended the MET Academy Hands-On Visit on November 13 at Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus. Through hands-on lab activities and a faculty presentation, they explored various aspects of dental medicine to gain a deeper insight into this field as a future career possibility.
In the hands-on sessions, students had the opportunity to learn about restorative dentistry, digital dentistry, and the wet lab. This was set up in several stations, including preparing and filling a cavity, scanning a tooth digitally, designing a crown with technology, and making impressions (imprints of the teeth that can be used for several purposes including mouth guards, dental restorations, and whitening trays). The students were allowed to keep their impressions from the session.
This opportunity was designed by College of Dental Medicine-Arizona (CDMA) faculty to assist students with their decision-making process in choosing a STEM field. Cara Copeland, D.M.D., Director of Community Service & Outreach, CDMA, noted, “Many participants don't have much of an understanding of what is involved in healthcare aside from their personal experiences. Opportunities like this give students an inside view and expose them to what it takes to achieve admission into healthcare education programs by talking to faculty and current students.”
Dr. Copeland added that the educational experience at Midwestern University was met with positive feedback. “The director of the participants from MET Academy said this is always their favorite off-campus experience, and two students are now interested in pursuing careers in dentistry,” Dr. Copeland said.
In addition, six Midwestern University dental medicine students were involved with the presentations and sessions. “These types of events help to develop our students’ public speaking skills and instill in them the spirit of giving back,” Dr. Copeland said.
Opportunities for community service are an integral aspect to the Midwestern University experience. The D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree program in Downers Grove, IL and Glendale, AZ offers students classroom and clinic experience in a technology-rich environment, as well as the benefits of being part of a team offering comprehensive oral care to patients.