A massive nose, a walk-in kidney and some high-tech surgical equipment can all be found in Da Vinci Academy’s Museum of Inspired Learning this week.
The museum is currently featuring a human body exhibit, featuring work developed by seventh-graders.
“Kids work in groups, do the research and then plan their exhibits,” said Kelly Schollaert, sixth-grade teacher at Da Vinci. “Today was the first day that they are docents for their exhibits, and our visitors today were actually our sixth-graders, who are just beginning the research process for their own exhibit in February.”
The seventh-grade groups chose a part of the body and developed interactive, informative exhibits about it.
“Every exhibit has to have several components,” Schollaert said. “There has to be the research and it has to be informative. But they also have to have a hands-on part, so that kids who visit are involved in the exhibit, and then there has to be some technological component, as well.”
One exhibit, developed by seventh-graders Autumn White and Tatum Turk, was about the brain. Autumn and Tatum took turns instructing about the different parts of the brain, and then they played a brain game to tell their visitors whether or not they are “left-brained or right-brained.”
Faith Townsend and Kaelin Higginbotham did their exhibit about the skin. They created a massive, shadow box display and then offered students an interactive game to label the layers of skin using a touchscreen monitor.
Other displays included a “kidney wash,” shaped like a carwash and showing how the kidneys remove toxins from the body; a tongue display that looked like a game of hopscotch; a massive nose hiding a vacuum to show how the nasal cavities work; and a skeletal system exhibit that included a song and dance.
One emergency surgery exhibit was sponsored by Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates, which provided surgical supplies.
Seventh-graders Caroline Odell, Carson Whitt and Callie Kirby took their visitors on a tour of an operating room and performed an appendectomy on a model body.
According to a release from Northeast Georgia Health System, Dr. Sujata Gill and Dr. James Chambers from NGPG Surgical Associates taught the students how to drape a patient and how to use the tools donated for the display.
“When I was asked to come and talk to the students, I was just excited to help the kids,” Dr. Gill said in the release. “Little did I know how much I would learn from the visit. I am so glad to see this incredible school and realize it exists in Hall County, where I am raising my children.”
Schollaert said the museum is not only an informative learning experience, but it gives students the confidence to speak publicly and teach their peers.
“Our museum is an amazing place,” said museum director Cindy White. “We have a permanent display filled with many treasures, even a dinosaur skeleton, but what really makes the museum so special are the rotating exhibits the students design.”