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Scientific field trip comes to Bremerton STEM academy BY SERAINE PAGE SPAGE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

How is the human body organized? On Monday morning, a field trip on wheels showed up at West Hills STEM Academy to help students answer that question with hands-on science experiences. The Science Adventure Lab — a custom-built lab inside a 45-foot-long bus brought reallife application science right to the front doors of the school. While students usually take field excursions off campus, the opportunity was too good for seventh-grade teacher Hannah Meucci to pass up. “I really hope that it ignites enthusiasm for possible careers and excitement about the medical field,” she said. “They’re becoming experts today.” The mobile unit is part of Seattle Children’s Hospital mission for improving child health through education. Prior to getting on the bus, students were greeted by doctors and assistants in white coats who gave instructions, including using hand sanitizer before entering. The first class of the day was given a review of what the 90-minute session would entail, including taking their

own vital signs with cuttingedge equipment. “We want to expose you guys to how medical tools are used,” said Dr. Amanda Jones, director of the Science Adventure Lab. At the end of testing their own blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and temperature, Jones told the students there would be a quiz. Jones stood in the middle of the bus at an examining table where an assistant showed students how to use each medical instrument. Between taking blood pressure and heart rate information down on their own patient charts, the students looked to screens for trivia questions about the human body. With clickers, the students chose the multiple choice or true and false answers — the class totals were then shown on a graph with the correct answer highlighted. True or False: Blood carries waste products to the organs that get rid of them. True, most of the class agreed. Jones went on to give explanations for some of the tools students would use, including a spirometer, which is used to measure air flow to determine respiratory rates. When Jones asked how many students were interested in math, most grumbled.

Seraine Page/Staff photo

Dr. Amanda Jones, director of the Science Adventure Lab, shows seventh-grade students how to use an EpiPen. The lab is a mobile unit from Seattle Children’s Hospital that travels around the state to educate students. “Math is the language of science,” she told the students. Students were required to do some simple math after breathing in and out of the spirometer and recording their answers. The spirometer — hooked up to

a computer screen — showed students how many breaths are taken within 15 seconds. The computer screen showed spikes and drops on a graph indicating by the peaks how many were taken during the time span.

Children tend to breathe quicker than adults, and breathing rates vary with activity levels, Jones told the students. Learning on real human SEE STEM STUDENTS, A17

Extreme weather shelter opens during cold snap BY KEVAN MOORE


The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management activated the county’s Severe Weather Shelter Plan three times last week and an overnight shelter for men, women and children was available at the Bremerton Foodline. The Foodline has housed the severe weather shelter for four years now. Last winter, there were a total of 238 people served. Last week, there were six guests on Tuesday, nine guests on Wednesday and 15 guests on Thursday. Patti Peterson, the executive director of the Bremerton Foodline, said the surge in numbers when the shelter is

open consecutive nights isn’t unusual. “Word spreads,” Peterson said. “People come back when they’ve been here one night; they’re grateful for the heat and warmth. Sometimes they’ve been living out of their car and need a break, if they’re fortunate enough to have a vehicle and gas money.” In order for the shelter to open, there must be a forecast of 32 degrees for four or more hours based on an evaluation of five different weather sites. The shelter also opens when two inches or more of rain is predicted in a two-day period. Despite frigid temperatures on Sunday night, the shelter was not able to open. “It was heartbreaking

(Sunday) night to send people away,” Peterson said Monday morning. “Fortunately I had some old sleeping bags to give them and send them on their way.” Peterson noted that the Foodline is always accepting gently used sleeping bags, blankets, coats and other cold weather clothing for folks in need. Even when the shelter does open, and no shelter activations were anticipated for the remainder of Thanksgiving week, there is a limited amount of space. “We do have a limitation on how many people we can take,” Peterson said. “The most we ever had was 24 and had to put some people in a heated attic area and down

the hallway. But, I try not to do that.” The Red Cross provides cots and Peterson and her volunteers provide blankets, pads for the cots, sanitized pillows and a light meal that the volunteers have made. There no shower facilities at the Foodline, but the Rescue Mission does have a mobile shower unit in a trailer that is sometimes on site. Most of the cots are set up in a lobby area, but separate space is reserved for women and children. “It’s not very glamorous,” Peterson said. “It’s just warm and safe.” When activated, the shelter opens from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning. Guests are not able to check into the

shelter after 10 p.m. “It’s not a come-andgo kind of thing,” Peterson said. “You’ve gotta follow the rules.” From early November to the end of the March, the Foodline has two volunteers on shift at any one time when the shelter is open. Peterson said folks who are interested in taking a training course and volunteering can find an application online at the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management. Applications are also available at the Foodline, located at 1600 12th St., in Bremerton. The phone number is 360373-9971. “We have lots of other help and we couldn’t put this together ourselves,” Peterson

Kevan Moore/Staff photo

Bremerton Foodline Executive Director Patti Peterson displays a bed roll used at the extreme weather shelter. said. “This is really the community coming together to make this happen.”

Bremerton Patriot, November 27, 2013