Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - 13

FROM EXPERIENCE / ROUNDS

STARTING EARLY
Over the last eight years,
72 percent of the lab's visits
were to elementary schools.
The decision to focus on elementary students is based
on research that shows positive science experiences in
the elementary years can
establish a strong foundation
of scientific knowledge and
spark interest in pursuing a
career in science. Elementary
schools are also less likely
to have access to the equipment and trained personnel
to teach hands-on science,
which is the most effective
way for students to learn and
retain science knowledge.

THE CURRICULUM
The Science Adventure Lab
program offers a variety of
different curriculum modules that teachers can select
from. Each module uses
hands-on activities to teach
science content while addressing key issues in pediatric health such as asthma,
concussions, nutrition and
the connection between
genes and health.
In the "Vital Signs" module, students use medical
equipment to measure their
blood pressure, heart rate,
respiratory rate and temperature. Instructors explain
these are the same measurements and equipment physicians use, which is a strategy
to help students feel more
comfortable when they
visit their own physician.
Many students have limited experience with health
care professionals beyond

doctors, nurses and dentists,
so another key component is
a discussion about the wide
range of interesting careers
in health care.
The "Catch Your Breath"
module focuses on the respiratory system and asthma.
Students measure oxygen
saturation and peak flow, and
breathe through a spirometer with a resistor attached to
simulate breathing through a
restricted, asthmatic airway.
This has been a powerful
way to help students develop
empathy for their classmates
with asthma.
In the neuroscience module, "Sense, Think, Move,"
students can explore the
senses and basic brain anatomy, and they can perform
electromyography to measure the electrical activity of

A student uses a
spirometer to measure
lung volume as
part of a module on
respiratory functions.

their forearm muscles during various hand movements. Instructors discuss
the applications of electromyography, the importance
of helmets and concussion
prevention, and career options related to neuroscience and brain health.

CAREER INSPIRATION
Building awareness of the
range of careers in science and health care, and
stimulating
interest
in
these careers, is a common
theme throughout all of the
programming.
Following
the activities onboard the
lab, students are asked if
they think they would like
a science- or health carerelated job when they grow
up. Roughly 25 percent of
students report they have

always wanted to do this
type of job, but about 18 percent respond they were now
considering one of these
careers as a result of their
experience with the lab.
Given that more than 55,000
students have participated
in the program to date, this
represents almost 10,000
newly-inspired
future
health care professionals.
The growing shortfall
in the number of trained
health care professionals is
well documented, and programs like this can fill a need
as an important long-term
workforce
development
strategy for the hospital and
the health care industry.

SUPPORTING SCHOOLS
The program's mission statement says every student in
every school deserves to experience science in an engaging way that prepares him or
her for success and helps the
student become a lifelong
learner and critical thinker.
Schools can't do this alone,
so programs like the Science
Adventure Lab are one way
to support the efforts of
schools and inspire the next
generation of scientists and
health care leaders.
Amanda L. Jones, Ph.D.,
is director of the Science
Education Department at
Seattle Children's Research
Institute. Visit seattlechildrens.org/adventurelab to
learn more about the lab.
Tell your hospital's story. Email
magazine@childrenshospitals.org.

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL S TODAY Fall 2017

13


http://www.seattlechildrens.org/adventurelab http://www.seattlechildrens.org/adventurelab

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017

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Children's Hospitals Today - Fall 2017 - Contents
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