Thirty ninth-grade students from the Academy of Health Sciences learned to make toothpaste while taking a field trip to the College of Pharmacy at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif., Friday, May 13, 2011.

The students, dubbed Biomedical Scholars, are part of the Project Lead the Way Biomedical Program at their school in Pomona. They learned how to compound non-medicated toothpaste during a laboratory exercise conducted by faculty and students in WesternU’s Compounding Lab.

The laboratory exercise educated students in preparing a pharmaceutically elegant paste comprised of six active ingredients. They weighed and mixed ingredients such as Calcium Phosphate, Sorbitol 70% solution, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Saccharin, peppermint oil and purified water. Half the group used a mortar and pestle and half used and an ointment mill to smooth out the toothpaste, which then was scooped into a toothpaste tube, crimped and labeled for grading.

Students were afforded this opportunity of a pharmacology lab experience because they are interested in pursuing careers in medicine, pharmacy, forensics and nursing.