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Pacific Health Wayfinders - Year 10 hand on Heart Event 2023

Pacific Health Wayfinders - Year 10 hand on Heart Event 2023

Pacific Health Wayfinders - Year 10 hand on Heart Event 2023

On Wednesday 15th November, eight Pasifika Year 10 students (Kaelee Colyle 10NG, Maatai Galiga 10CW, Telua Galiga 10FN, William Kupu 10YT, Rouge Malo 10FN, Camryn Renz 10TG, Cody Semisini 10YT and myself, Aqeelah Rasheed 10TG) were invited to attend Pasifika Health Wayfinders Year 10 Hand on Heart Event. The event was at Grafton Campus of Medical and Health Sciences at the University of Auckland. The Pacific Health Wayfinders are from The University of Auckland with the aim of supporting Pacific secondary students with an interest in Science and Health. This year, they teamed up with Manaaki Manawa, The Centre for Heart Research, School of Pharmacy and Vision Bus Aotearoa to deliver an interactive and engaging Science-based workshop for rangatahi. This workshop was about exposing Pacific Youth to Science in relation to the human heart and eye healthcare. 

When we got to the compass, we were accompanied by three other schools - Manurewa High School, Birkenhead College and Sacred Heart College. The Pacific Health Wayfinders divided us all into four groups - there were two Rutherford students per group which gave us an opportunity to socialize with the students from the other schools. My group went to the Pharmacy labs first. The session kicked off with a brief introduction of Pharmacy from two Pharmacy students. We learnt about the importance of Pharmacists, including the support they provide for the public. The Pharmacy students talked to us about common ingredients found in medication, which gave us all a better understanding of what goes into our bodies when taking our medication. We analyzed fake patient scenarios and ended off the session by making our own prescription labels. 

Our next workshop was in the Vision Bus. Here, some students got their eyes scanned which the optometrists in the bus used as examples to teach us about the structure of the eye. Later, around midday, we were provided with lunch - subway, cookies, fresh fruit and additional snacks. We are so grateful for the lunch. 

After lunch, we went to the Heart Health workshop along with another group. We were split into three smaller groups so that we all had the opportunity to do three different rotations. In the first rotation, we learnt about the circulatory system, the importance of the heart, the heart’s structure and their functions. In pairs, we got to measure each other’s blood pressure and heart rate. In the second rotation, we got our ECGs (electrocardiography) tested. Here, we learnt how to read ECG graphs, and what they tell us about our cardio health. For the third rotation, we went into an ultrasound room where a lecturer got his heart scanned to show us what the heart looks and sounds like inside our bodies. Some students even handled the ultrasound probe (handle) to search for the lecturer’s heart.  

We ended the day at the Anatomy Museum. We saw different animal fossils and human organs that were donated to the University. At first, It was a bit weird to think that the organs once belonged to real people and some students felt uncomfortable, but later, everyone became fascinated by it. I think it was really interesting to see what our organs actually look like. There were also organs that had been in autopsies due to certain accidents. For example, I saw a heart with gunshot wounds, a burnt stomach and a hand that had been electrified.  

Overall, this trip was WONDERFUL! I’ve never been on the campus of a University before, so it was exciting to experience that atmosphere. I even got to see some lectures taking place and students studying in student lounges. All of the workshops were very interactive and the Pacific Health Wayfinders were so friendly. We got to win prizes for asking or answering questions. It was great to see everyone so engaged and excited about science. Most of the Pacific Health Wayfinders were Med/Health students themselves, so I felt proud to see Pasifika representation and to hear all of their stories. I’m sure many other students felt so inspired like I did, and are hoping to return to Grafton not just for a visit, but for classes in the future.  

I just want to say a huge thank you to Mr Talamaivao for accompanying us and organizing this trip. I really hope the Pacific Health Wayfinders continue these workshops! 

Aqeelah Rasheed 10TG art Event 2023


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