Early Pipeline Programs
Students from the second or third grades of three Boston-area elementary schools take part in annual field trips to GSDM where they receive oral health education and an introduction to the dental career field. Volunteer GSDM students serve as role models during these field trips helping to engage the children in hands-on activities and interactive lesson plans on topics related to dental health.
The children spend time in both a classroom and the Simulation Learning Center, essentially becoming “dental students” for the day. Included among the day’s activities are a variety of age appropriate projects including an activity that uses walnuts to demonstrate how sealants protect teeth and another lesson which allows the children to create a model of their thumb using alginate and dental stone. The lesson plan on healthy eating includes a nutritious snack with a take home recipe. The children even dress the part, donning lab coats, gloves, and masks while in the Simulation Learning Center. The day is topped off with a pizza party and outdoor games as weather allows. Each of these school field trips provides valuable opportunities for GSDM dental students to inspire school-age children to pursue a higher education and possibly a career in dentistry.