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Sullivans Students Visit USNH Yokosuka for STEM Week

By Steve Parker
Sullivans Students Visit USNH Yokosuka for STEM Week

Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan. Students from The Sullivans School on board Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka (CFAY) in Yokosuka, Japan visited United States Naval Hospital (USNH) Yokosuka for a smorgasbord of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities served up by the staff at USNH. The inclement weather that lasted throughout the day stem-med the tide of elementary students somewhat, but those brave and hearty young souls who walked through the rain were enthusiastic and excited about everything they learned while in the capable, patient, and professional hands of the sailors and civilians of USNH Yokosuka.
The 2nd grade students of Ms. Tonyota Mack and the first grade students of Ms. Karla Posthumous were divided into groups when they reached the surgery department where they learned about breathing, blood flow, and the various ways organs work using a mannequin. Students were able to touch and practice using instruments professionals use at the hospital during health crises.
Mack stated, “The highlight was when students were able to suture pig feet! They felt and acted like medical professionals with nets over their hair and plastic gloves on their hands, as they used real tools and thread to place stitches on pig feet. “ Posthumous stated, “We also learned how doctors can see the inside of a patient's body by pushing a tube with a camera down the patient's throat into their lungs and stomach.”
Ms. Denetric Britton, Sullivans first grade teacher reported, “My first graders visited the radiology department. The technicians showed us all of the elaborate equipment used in radiology and even scanned a student's backpack to make a comparison. We had the opportunity to go into the radiologists' office and they showed us x-rays upon request....throat, ankle, babies, brain, heart, chest. If my students asked for it, it was shown. It was the best field trip!”
The 2/3 multiage class of Rebecca Ramos Austin visited the Biomedical Engineering department of USNH Yokosuka. In her own words, “The students learned that this department services and oversees all the machines in the hospital. Everything from an x-ray machine to blood pressure monitors. If the machine is having problems or has broken down it goes to this department and the team services the equipment. They learned what type of training the military offers the people who work in this department. “
Jessica Lee’s 2nd grade class visited the emergency services division where they “really enjoyed touring the Emergency Room and Ambulance. They had so many questions and the staff was incredibly adept at making sure they had a great experience.”
Two Multiage classes taught by Yvette Parker and Steve Parker visited the laboratory of the hospital where they split into 3 groups. They dressed in lab coats and febrile gloves, viewed platelets and blood cells in a microscope, transferred fluids using medical equipment, smelled petri dishes, and finally viewed organs in the pathology department.
All in all, although curtailed somewhat by weather, the day was a resounding success for those who attended. Everyone learned about STEM fields and left the hospital with excited and happy smiles. Thank you to the staff at USNH for inspiring future scientists and planting the dreams of STEM careers in the minds of Yokosuka’s military and military related students during the month of the military child.
The first organized schools for the children of U.S. military personnel serving in the Pacific were established in 1946 during post-World War II reconstruction. Throughout the decades, DoD schools evolved to become a comprehensive and high-performing K-12 school system solely dedicated to educating the children of America's heroes. Today, DoDEA Pacific's 48 schools serve nearly 23,000 military-connected children of U.S.
Service members and civilian support personnel stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The DoDEA Pacific teaching, administrative and school support team includes more than 3,000 full-time professionals. The schools are geographically organized into four districts: Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea. The Sullivans School is the largest school in DoDEA with a student body of approximately 1,200 in grades K-5.

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