Hands-On Science, Art, and Health Lessons

Hands-On Science:

(Click here to see the photos!)

West Valley student team leaders Chantal Naugle and Jacob Bryan held classes on breathing, circulation, and the lungs using balloons. They also students how to read their pulse, both at a resting rate and an elevated rate by calculating it after lots and lots of jumping jacks. Simply discovering how to find and read their pulse to find out their heart rate was a major and delightful revelation.

They also conducted the famous “Coke and Mentos” experiment. The eruption of Coke from the bottle was a totally fun way to demonstrate a chemical reaction: release of carbon dioxide gas from the coke it was dissolved in due to it becoming rapidly supersaturated. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated also into Khmer).

They also used RAFT San Jose Roller Racer science activity kits to make a roller racer machine that releases stored energy by racing forward in a rolling motion. Yes, they had competitive races that led to a ‘roll-off’ between the final two…Click here to read the lesson plan (translated also into Khmer).

Last, they also built “Goldie Blox”, donated by the Gmerek family, becoming student engineers by customizing their own machines that performed interactive motions when a starter strap is pulled. The smiles on their faces in the photos show how much fun they had. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated also into Khmer).

Hands-On Art:

(Click here to see the photos!)

The West Valley art team, led by Hannah Shirley, used the RAFT Scalloped Circles string art activity kit as part of their art project, including painting the new exterior wall ‘Doris Dillon’ mural. For the Scalloped Circles string art, the students created geometric shapes out of string. The project exercised creativity and self expression through art and geometry. West Valley team leader Hannah Shirley led those projects each day and they were a huge success! The team also began teaching 9th grade students how to create foil art using the RAFT Foil Art activity kit. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated also into Khmer).

Hands-On Health:

West Valley student Sofie Gmerek and her mother Lydia, who is a nurse, wrote the lesson plans, had them translated into Khmer, and taught the following 8 lessons to all students:

  • Lesson 1: General Health

  • Lesson 2: Oral Health—including use of disclosing tablets to show students where their teeth brushing did not clean their teeth completely (red dye in the tablets turns those areas red). Click here to read the lesson plan (translated into Khmer also).

  • Lesson 3: Effective Care of Bleeding Wounds. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated into Khmer also).

  • Lesson 4: Effective Care of Burns. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated into Khmer also).

  • Lesson 5: Effective Treatment of Vomiting and Prevention and Care for Diarrhea. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated into Khmer also).

  • Lesson 6: The Dangers of Smoking. Click here to read the lesson plan (translated into Khmer also).

  • Lesson 7: Emergency Care. Last year, Sofie raised funds to purchase inflatable adult and infant CPR dummies which they hand-carried to our school as volunteers during the February 2018 Leland High School students/parents trip. As volunteers, they then trained all students in proper application of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. They continued the CPR and Heimlich maneuver training with all students this year.

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