The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

By Audrey Gomez
Of The New Era 

All about me: Kindergarteners learn body makeup from medical students


April 21, 2015

uring a class visit to the COMP-NW medical school in Lebanon. Photos by Audrey Gomez

Kindergarten teacher Stefanie Steffensen’s students got a jump start on their college education on April 16.

The Oak Heights kindergarteners joined medical students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest in Lebanon for lessons in skeletal anatomy, surgery, germs and hand washing, and exercise and heart health on Thursday.

It’s the first time the Sweet Home students, 55 total, visited the Lebanon campus of the college.

“We did it on a Thursday because they don’t have school on Friday, so we changed it to accommodate them,” said Jeannie Davis, assistant director of admissions at the medical school.

Davis is an adviser for school district service learning hours. Meagan Wolfe and Clint Kraus visit Steffensen’s classroom about once a month, she said.

Steffensen’s spouse Russell is a first-year medical student at the college.

The older students guided the younger throughout the halls of the college, to each of four learning stations.

“It’s gross,” one of the kindergarteners shouted as medical student Kyle Blair clutched a model of a human heart as he explained its function.

When he asked kindergarteners what is in the heart, one offered a more heartwarming answer: “My dog lives in my heart!”

Thanks to a vest with felt organs Velcroed to it, students got to see how their hearts and other insides fit together. Children took turns wearing the vests while their colleagues suited up in scrubs.

LANDYN SAYERS concentrates as he tests the limitations of the human spine.

A “patient” wearing the organ vest lay on a table while the others performed “surgery,” learning about each part as it was detached.

Most of the patients fit neatly on the table in the make-shift operating room, but one stood out. Medical student Michael Bies’ feet dangled off the operating table as he donned the organ vest for one of the groups who needed another participant.

The experience lasted about an hour before students boarded the bus back to Sweet Home.

The medical students had a full day of tours. They hosted about 10 different kindergarten classes from the area from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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