Hoosier high schoolers get a glimpse of dental education during the IU dental school's Dental Summer Institute

Professor Bill Babler was one of dozens of IU dental school student, staff, and faculty
volunteers who gave the teenagers an inside look into dental education and the dental profession.

The annual Dental Summer Institute (DSI), a careers camp for young people having an interest in the dental profession, drew 18 teenagers from both rural and urban backgrounds to the IU dental school for a hands-on look at dentistry during the week of June 4.

A  large group of student, staff, and faculty volunteers ran the program, which was managed by dental school employees Ms. Pamela Clark of Student Affairs along with Ms. Ina Jackson and Dr. Pamela Shaw of the school's office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“Altogether some 30 or 40 volunteers, including two college predental students, helped us produce the program,” said Ms. Clark. “We had a good group of students this year.”

The 2012 program was sponsored in collaboration with the West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center. DSI offered wide-ranging projects designed to be informative as well as fun for teenagers. There were classes with such intriguing titles as Dental Speed Networking, Dr. Babler’s Brains, and Mass Fatalities (Dr. Ted Parks’ lesson on forensic dentistry) as well as tooth-filling projects, orthodontic exercises, toothpaste-making, and much more.

“I enjoyed putting the brackets on the model teeth,” one participant wrote in the wrap-up survey. “I liked it because it was fun and hands on.”

“I liked observing in the clinic because we get to [be] up close and personal with the dentist and the patients,” wrote another.

The institute culminated with the students’ poster projects on dental topics being placed on display for the entire school to enjoy. “DSI’12 was another success in spreading awareness of and excitement for the field of dentistry to high school students,” said Ms. Clark.

June 29, 2012

Skeleton construction was just one of many hands-on projects the students tackled.
Skeleton construction was just one of many hands-on projects the students tackled.
The class titled "Dr. Babler
The class titled "Dr. Babler's Brains" showed students that many subjects besides the mouth are studied in dental school.