School students investigate the signals and signs of good health


Over 80 Indigenous students in years 5 and 6 will visit the University of Western Sydney's Hawkesbury campus on Thursday 19 July for an event in the 'Heartbeat' series which is part of the university's Schools Engagement suite of programs.

'Heartbeat: signals and signs' will allow students to explore health and medicine-related fields of study while gaining knowledge that can be applied in their day-to-day lives.

Manager of Schools Engagement at UWS, Anne McLean, says this is the third time these students have visited UWS.


"We saw them for the first time at the Campbelltown campus in September 2010 when they were in years 3 and 4. They returned last year for different but connected activities and the July event will further build their awareness of health issues and the university environment," says Ms McLean.

"Previously, students have enjoyed activities such as health checks, arm plastering, physical fitness for life, healthy food choices, reconstructing skeletons and bootcamp. By engaging with them from an early age, UWS hopes to inspire some to aim for careers in health, medicine and related sciences as well as contributing to positive Indigenous health and education outcomes."

"We are very pleased to welcome St John Ambulance Australia as a new partner in the program. Along with existing partners the Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association and the Tharawal Aboriginal Medical Service, they complement the expertise and perspectives brought to the program by UWS staff."

Heartbeat - analysing the food contents

Following a whole-of-group opening ceremony with a Welcome to Country delivered by Aunty Edna Watson, students will be split into four groups and will rotate through the following workshops:

* Basic First Aid: Students will be given training on basic first aid techniques including burns, cuts, falls, etc. The workshop will be run by St John Ambulance Australia.

* Food Marketing: Students will be shown footage of commercials relating to food and beverages and a discussion will take place to help them understand that marketing for food can be deceiving. Products displaying the heart tick approval will also be discussed and information will be presented on why this sign might be misleading.

* Food Science: This interactive workshop will demonstrate the sugar and fat content of everyday food and beverage items. Students will be shown the correct amounts for a healthy diet and will participate in food analysis at three different workstations.

* Water Quality: Students will learn where drinking water comes from, and the importance of water quality and having clean water. They will have the opportunity to view samples through the microscopes in a laboratory and also to catch their own tiny marine creature to investigate.

Indigenous UWS students from health, medicine and related sciences will act as guides and role models on the day.

Schools participating in 'Heartbeat: signals and signs' are:
Bradbury Public School
Briar Road Public School
John Warby Public School
Kentlyn Public School
Leumeah Public School
Minto Public School
Narellan Public School
Ruse Public School
Thomas Acres Public School
St John the Evangelist Primary School

WHAT: Heartbeat: signals and signs
WHEN: 10:00am to 2.00pm, Thursday 19 July, 2012
WHERE: UWS Hawkesbury campus


9 July 2012

View more photos of the 'Heartbeat: signals and signs' event

Photos: Sally Tsoutas

Contact: Kristy Gleeson, Media Officer