High schoolers can smile while exploring dental careers at summer camp in Maine
Portland, Maine, USA: With the official start of summer this week, many high school students have shifted gears from school studies to summer camp. But not all set their sights on traditional camp activities like swimming, fishing or arts & crafts. In fact, 20 teen-agers in Maine and New Hampshire have chosen to “open wide” to an innovative and interesting alternative.
The University of New England’s third annual “Dental Careers Exploration Camp” is taking place Sunday, June 24, through Tuesday, June 26, on UNE’s Portland Campus. Students hail from the Maine towns of Norway, Saco, Ashland, Chebeague Island, Fort Fairfield, Berwick, North Berwick, Lisbon, Wade, Cape Elizabeth, Kennebunk, Holden and Fort Kent, and from New Hampshire’s Pelham and Lisbon communities.
On Monday, June 25, the high schoolers will get hands-on exposure to various dental techniques in a clinical setting on a patient simulator, including drilling and filling teeth. On the morning of Tuesday, June 26, students will job shadow at dental offices in the area.
“The need for increased access to dental care in Maine is great,” said James Koelbl, dean of UNE’s College of Dental Medicine, scheduled to open in the fall of 2013. “We hope this camp will inspire our next generation of dentists. Forty-one percent of Maine’s dentists are 55 years or older, and the American Dental Education Association has forecasted that in five years, more dentists will be retiring from the work force than graduating from school.”
Time Warner Cable is among this year’s sponsors, as part of the company’s Connect a Million Minds philanthropic initiative to encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“We share a commitment with UNE to inspire the next generation of scientists, innovators and problem solvers,” said Paul S. Schonewolf, Time Warner Cable’s area vice president of operations. “UNE’s dental camp is a great way for young people to discover their potential for careers in science and technology as well as help address an issue of critical importance in Maine – the acute shortage of dentists.”
UNE’s Dental Careers Exploration Camp is also sponsored by TD Bank and the Maine AHEC Network.
(Source: University of New England)