Students in the health science pathway at Hutchings College and Career Academy will test their medical skills on an interactive mannequin.
Over at Southwest High School, teens will get hands-on lessons on body decomposition and forensic investigation through a new research facility.
Those are just two of the 112 Teach to Inspire Projects from Bibb County teachers that will be funded by the Peyton Anderson Foundation this year. The organization has awarded a total of $532,875 through the new grant program, which was announced in April.
Almost 250 grant proposals were submitted before the 2016-17 school year ended, according to the Bibb school district.
“While all of the ideas deserve implementation, the foundation is grateful we could provide funding for 112 projects to expand opportunities for our teachers and students, empower Bibb County classrooms and make the 2017-18 school year one of the most memorable learning experiences,” Karen Lambert, president of the Peyton Anderson Foundation, said in a release.
Hutchings instructor Avery Durbin received $14,138 to purchase a Patient Communication Simulator from company Nasco that all participants in the school’s health science pathway will use. These students get certified in CPR and do clinicals in a nursing home before earning their nursing assistant certification.
Right now, they practice their medical skills on standard mannequins, but the interactive mannequin will provide hands-on training that is more lifelike and engaging.
“I thought (the grant) would be a great opportunity to add something to the lab for our students,” Durbin said. “I think it’s going to help their skill level. I think it will really make it more realistic for them and better prepare them.”
Students will be able to check heart and respiratory rates, hear lung and heart sounds, measure blood pressure, perform oral and nasal intubation, and do CPR on the simulator, which should arrive in September. The mannequin has a camera in its eyes and can respond to questions.
A few miles down the road, Southwest High forensics students will be getting their hands dirty during science lessons. Cassandra Ashley, who teaches forensics, Advanced Placement environmental science and chemistry, received a $1,333 grant for her Body Farm project. This outdoor research facility should be up and running in a couple weeks.
Chicken corpses will be buried in the ground under different circumstances, and students will be able to see the body decomposition rate and learn how to handle a crime scene. Only forensics students will work in the Body Farm at first, but the goal is for all science classes to eventually use it.
“I thought (the grant) was a great way to get funding and a creative way to get our students involved,” Ashley said. “I thought it would be great for them to have a Body Farm and for them to go outside and get hands on with the crime lab.”
The Teach to Inspire Project grants range from $200 to almost $16,000, according to the foundation. Vineville Academy received the most grants of any school, with $54,163 for 13 projects. Twelve grants went to Porter Elementary, and Rutland High School earned more than $39,000 for science and social studies projects.