By University Communications
AURORA, Colo. - More than 400 students from elementary and middle schools throughout Aurora descended upon the Anschutz Medical Campus recently and discovered what it’s like to be a pharmacist.
From compounding rash creams to creating hand sanitizer and seeing germs under a black light, the students got a dose of pharmacy school.
“It was really cool. I want to be a pharmacist,” said Brandon, a fourth-grader from Laredo Elementary School.
Approximately 360 students from Laredo, Paris, Park Lane and Montview elementary schools participated in the exercises. Hosted by second- and third-year pharmacy students enrolled at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and members of the Student National Pharmacists Association and Colorado Student Society of Health Systems Pharmacy, the fourth-graders learned about the importance of accurate measurements, labeling, scientific methods and compounding.
While the fourth-graders were cleaning up, another group of kids was just getting started. These students were sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade Aurora LIGHTS schoolchildren from North Middle School Health Sciences & Technology Campus.
“I was here a couple of years ago as a fourth-grader and have never forgotten it,” said Wendy.
“In fact, these same students expressly requested that they return to the Anschutz Medical Campus and visit with the pharmacy program,” says Loretta Erickson, Aurora LIGHTS coordinator. “I can see why they were so insistent and excited about pharmacy. The hands-on experience was a lot of fun.”
The middle-schoolers got to see all the bugs they had accumulated on their hands under a black light, create their very own hand sanitizer, learn about the importance of hand washing and how to do it properly, discover the differences between viruses and bacteria, and use their math skills to calculate antibiotic dosing.
“The program made pharmacy come to life and really made an impression on the kids…and me,” said Erickson.
To see more photos of the program, go to https://www.facebook.com/CUPharmacy.
(Photo: Aurora students display certificates after participating in pharmacy exercises at the Anschutz Medical Campus.)