Three groups of New London HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) students took the opportunity to plan and present health information to middle school students this year as part of their HOSA State Competitive event.
The event was titled: Health Education. Students choose a topic and then design and implement an interactive lesson to present to an audience. This year, all three groups choose to go back to the middle school they attended and present to the middle school students. The students are all part of the PLTW Biomedical Sciences Program that New London High School has to offer as well.
Students picked topics that are very important to the health of young students. The leading cause of death in America is heart disease. Some of the ways that this can be prevented is by not smoking, eating healthy, sleeping well, and exercising.
Molly O’Connell and Abby Elsholtz presented to Paul Desrochers’ eight grade health students on heart disease. They taught the students what can happen to a person’s body if heart disease develops. They taught them the big word: atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque and narrowing of an artery. They did a demonstration to show how damage to an artery affects the ability of it to function.
They designed a game for the students to play using I-pads thus incorporating technology into the classroom. The curriculum in Human Body Systems that O’Connell and Elsholtz are in had them dig deeply into the underlying causes of heart disease and the anatomical changes that can occur because of it.
“Teaching students at a young age how to prevent cardiovascular disease is an important key to maintaining a healthy life,” said Elsholtz. “Oftentimes eating and exercise habits begin at the middle school level, which is why we found it necessary to reach out to these particular individuals. Their willingness to participate and absorb this information, which at times was quite complex, was very rewarding. Each student completed a survey for us to use as feedback on our presentation. Almost all of them left a comment thanking Molly and I for our presentation; they thought it was fun.”
Kelsey Van Cuick and Jessica Weyenberg did a presentation to fifth grade students on the damaging effects of smoking.
They used a pig lung model that had been damaged by smoke to show to the students. They even showed the students how a smoker’s lungs cannot inflate as well as normal lungs.
They had the students participate in an activity where they had to run for one minute by only breathing through a straw. That way the students would grasp the idea of how smoking can damage the lungs.
Van Cuick and Weyenberg are part of Anatomy and Physiology and Human Body Systems classes in which they learn the anatomy of the lung. They were able to share how the lung should function normally and compare that with how a lung functions if it has been damaged by smoke.
Jordyn Bucholtz and Haley Fuerst did a presentation on how to be healthy by getting the right nutrients, the right amount of sleep and the right amount of exercise. They made a healthy snack for students and shared the recipe so that students could take it home to their families. Part of the Human Body Systems curriculum requires students to learn about patients and their lifestyles. The students then made recommendations for the patient and determine the best way that the patient can improve his or her lifestyle. Bucholtz and Fuerst were able to take that information and use it in their presentation to the middle school students.
Each group had to put together a portfolio of their presentations and presented it at the State HOSA Competition. They were required to include pictures, student surveys, lesson plans and resources. They were judged on their ability to communicate what they did to the judges as well.
At HOSA State they took the following places in competition: O’Connell and Elsholtz took first place, Bucholtz and Fuerst took third place, and Van Cuick and Weyenberg took fifth place.