Engaging school students in science and health professions

Joy Penman, Jyothi Thalluri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


With national shortages of scientists and health professionals, the regional campus of the University of South Australia initiated an introductory program for school students to expose them to science, the health professions, and the university. School students undertaking work experience at the local hospital were invited to participate in the science enrichment program.The participants attended an intensive program run by faculty members, and were mentored by university students. They were introduced to various aspects of physical and life sciences, and how these were applied to health professions. They participated in hands-on activities and listened to personal experiences of university staff and health professionals. They viewed educational videos/clips, examined various scenarios, and evaluated the program. A 30-item survey determined the perceptions of participants about the program, as well as students’ socio-demographic data and future career plans after high school. The items querying students’ perceived value of the learning experience required them to respond to a set of criteria using a Likert scale from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’. Other items were closed-ended questions and open-ended questions.Seventy-six (76) high school students participated in the science enrichment program from 2006 to 2014. The majority of students ‘agreed’ (66%) and ‘strongly agreed’ (34%) that they had a better understanding of science concepts, and how these were used within varying health professions (42%; 53%). As a result of their experience, they were able to link science with the work of health professionals (63%; 26%), and they felt positive about university studies (66%; 24%)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEDULEARN16 Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publication8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
EditorsL Gómez Chova, A López Martínez, I Candel Torres
Place of PublicationValencia, Spain
PublisherIATED Academy
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9788460888604
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 4 Jul 20166 Jul 2016
Conference number: 8th
https://library.iated.org/publications/EDULEARN16 (EDULEARN16 Proceedings)

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2340-1117


Conference8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Abbreviated titleEDULEARN16
Internet address


  • health science careers
  • health professions
  • sciences
  • school students
  • university experience

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