Students dress up as oral health professionals
Students dress up as oral health professionals

Over 150 Indigenous students came from across Brisbane on the 4th December to try out different careers on offer at The University of Queensland as part of the Solid Pathways Program. Coordinator Ms Cate Carter (Student and Academic Support Officer, Faculty of Arts), said the Solid Pathways Program targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Years 3-11 and Out-of-Home Care students, who have been identified through NAPLAN tests as being high achievers in the domains of reading and / or numeracy. The project aims to connect these students with similar peers, extend their learning and maintain their achievements, as they transition through school, with a pathway to tertiary study, TAFE and employment. The program is aimed at developing the metacognitive skills of students by engaging them in weekly philosophical collaborative inquiry.

Mrs Joan James and Ms Andrea Maguire (Lecturers in Oral Health), from the School of Dentistry provided hands on dental activities for the groups of Indigenous children. Other Schools from the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences including Nursing, Human Movement Studies, and Pharmacy, also provided worthwhile activities throughout the day.
Ms Andrea Maguire said that the primary school students loved the chance to dress up as oral health professionals. “It was great fun watching them count each other’s teeth. Some of them were naturals!” said Ms Maguire. 
Other activities included hands on science experiments and online quizzes which provided oral health education as well as an impressive show. Mrs James said that the Coca Cola and boiled eggs experiment really demonstrated to the students the effect that soft drinks have on teeth.
“We are really excited about the Solid Pathways Program and look forward to participating again next year” said Ms Maguire.
School of Dentistry Team Ms Andrea Maguire & Mrs Joan James
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