Photos and Story by Mass Communication Specialist Third Class Marissa Valentine
Yokosuka Middle School students onboard Fleet Activities (FLEACT),Yokosuka enjoyed a day full of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education designed by teachers to inspire an interest of learning in these fields, April 2. STEM is a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) initiative to promote connections between Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics skills in the 21st century.
Teachers with the cooperation of base facilities including the Yokosuka Naval Hospital organized a variety of activities for different grade levels and teams.
Students were divided into groups and taken to Dental, the Main pharmacy, Optometry, Urology, the Intensive Care Unit, Radiology, and the Mental Health facility. Activities at the pharmacy included learning about mixing compounds in the pharmacy, mathematical equations for medications, as well as counting pills for accuracy.
“The main goal today is to show the students that inside the pharmacy we compound the medications, we do not just distribute medications directly from the manufacturer. We want to show them that we do a lot of calculations, based on the different types of medications, from oral, to rectal, eye or ear medications, each calculation is different and precise,” said Lt. Cmdr. Linh Quach.
While one group of students learned how to mix a diaper cream compound, another group of students was able to count pills for accuracy, and then learn a few of the mathematical calculations used in the pharmacy.
Sixth grader R.J. Hooks was enthused to learn the science and mathematical processes done in the pharmacy.
Other students were given the opportunity to administer CPR and monitor the breathing of a learning dummy in the intensive care unit. The dummy had all the capabilities of a normal human being with regards to breathing, coughing, vomiting and choking.
“Right now I am listening to the breathing of this patient and learning different chest sounds, what is normal and what is abnormal,” said 8th grader Juliana Turner.
In addition to children being able to learn different aspects of the medical field, other groups of students were taken to work alongside Seabees, Port Operations, the Base Library, the SRF-JRMC Dive Locker, and the Fleet and Family Support Center to visit volunteers from the American Red Cross.
Students that got the opportunity to work with Seabees were taught how to wire up a panel box from scratch, and strip wires for electrical connections.
Yoksoka Middle School STEM coordinator, Robin Vinson was able to gather a total of 36 base groups to participate in this STEM event providing educational opportunities for all of the 570 students who participated. The students were divided into small groups of 14 and were able to rotate to each of the bases many locations.
“We separated the groups into male and female, STEM was originally funded in this manner. All students are participating as well as all of the 50 plus faculty members,” said Vinson.
“We as[ faculty members] really enjoy this educational opportunity for the children and hope to have the same if not better results next year.”