Sunday, June 14, 2009

McKee Students Create Based on Infant Simulator Experience

Week after week, we have checked in on whether the students in the two health classes were emphatic about their experience with the infant simulators. A reporter from the Staten Island Advance stopped by to interview the students and was shocked at their passionate arguments as to why they would not want to become teen parents. Steve DeGennaro, the physical education teacher, and Jeff Thomas, the Spark SAPIS instructor, have worked collaboratively to create a curriculum that engaged the students.

Click here to see the pledge the students generated. The routine that we established in the pilot study was to do a three week prep for how the students would care for the infant simulators and the ramifications. The parents would have to give their signed permission as well as the students. Then once the students received the infant simulators with car seat, infant, clothing, diapers, bottle, blanket, and sun protective covering, the students would have to cope with the infant for 72 hours. The pupils also created PowerPoint presentations to document their experience.

Every one of the students felt as if the experience was painful, in fact the term was "excruciating." We also had the participation of the school assigned police officer to be the representative of what would happen legally to the students from the "abuse" the infant simulators suffered. The nurse checked with each of the classes and could not believe the 100% emphatic response rate as to how students felt about caring for infants of their own. It was the students ideas to create the pledge and to stand by it.

There is power in experiential learning. The message all of the students spread to any and everyone who asked was just as palpable six weeks later from when they first underwent the experience. Recently, Ms Patty Caltabiano, whose organization is responsible for granting us the use of the 10 infant simulators in the pilot study, visited to see the end of year ceremony in which students received certificates from Reality Works, recognizing the work o their increased awareness.

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