February 20, 2014

Cow Hearts & Dentists & Chemistry, Oh My!

Hey friends! The little Llamas and I were invited to a field trip at the Sanford Brown College's School of Health with our homeschool group, and man - what a fantastic experience!

We started out with a general orientation, and separated into groups after that; there was a group that learned about ultrasound, another that learned about chemistry in the pharmaceutical lab, and another that learned about dentistry! All of the kids learned about each specialization by spending about forty-five minutes with their in each area.

I started out with the kids got to experience what the students who become sonographers (or ultrasound technicians) learn about in their daily classes - including examining the most spectacular cow heart one might imagine.

Therefore, extraordinary cow heart = copious amounts of bovine cardiological photographs. I simply couldn't help myself. Ha!

After learning a bit about the anatomy of the cow heart (which is larger, but nearly identical to a human heart), and then seeing several of the children have ultrasounds done on their own hearts (which was REALLY AWESOME!), we moved on to the dental clinic.

In the dental clinic, the kids got to meet this happy, toothy dragon, to learn how to properly brush their teeth, and then everyone was offered a complimentary tooth cleaning and simple examination. Wow! It was my girls' first "real" experience with the dentist, and it was an excellent one. Our little one even said, "Oh, I LIKE the dentist!" when she was done. And let me tell you - I was so happy to hear that!

After that, I headed over to the chemistry laboratory, where we had a short lesson on the importance of - and how to make - I.V. bags. Very cool.

It was right around this time that us mamas were being treated to complimentary massages by the massage therapy students downstairs. Oh. My. Word. Amazing. Obviously no photos were happening then! So, instead I give you a really cool photo of the oldest Llama-ling's hands under a U.V. light after a quick lesson about about germs and the importance of hand-washing. The kids had to put this interesting gel on their hands (to represent the germs) and then wash it ALL off. This is a "before washing" shot - the after shots were not so interesting, but it did show which kids were more thorough hand-washers than others, ha! A couple of them had to go back more than once!

Then it was off to the pharmaceutical chemistry lab, where the kids learned a little about what goes in to making medications and dosages, etc. Then, they all got to make their own bath bombs. This is SO something our kids love. And apparently, aside from the cow heart, this was the best part of the day. All the kids loved to smoosh the oil and baking soda/citric acid together and form their own little shapes (mostly balls, as you will see). 

So there you have it - a little bit of our day at the Sanford Brown School of Health. It was an absolutely wonderful experience, and one that we will remember for years to come! I'm so glad that we got to spend a day there with all the kind, thoughful faculty and students. They went above and beyond for us!

Until next time,


February 4, 2014

Survival Training at Crystal Springs

Hey, friends!

So we have a monthly outing with our local homeschool group to the Crystal Springs Preserve, and every month we have such a great time learning about Florida and all of its wonders. The spring itself is absolutely gorgeous, and at the Crystal Springs Preserve, there is a wonderful learning center, where our kiddos are led in a science lesson and often a trip out into the woods.

I wrote about our first trip out to Crystal Springs in this post, where we learned about the history of the springs and the delicate ecology of the springs and the importance of water to Florida, and the world.

This month, our group learned about the basics of survivalism - and boy, it was a HIT among the kids. Our oldest, in particular, was so excited about this particular outing that she could hardly contain herself!

Our group learned about the most important aspects of survivalism, including water collection, shelter-building (above), and about a few of the wild edible plants that are easy to find in central Florida, including saw palmetto root, and Spanish moss. The kids wanted to try it all, of course! 

Overall, it was a really fantastic day, and I think I learned just as much as they did! Who knew that a ziplock (mostly) closed over the leaves of a small tree branch could collect so much water?!?! Cool!

We absolutely love our time at Crystal Springs Preserve, and are so looking forward to next month, and all of our future adventures there!

Until next time,