Camp Correspondent Blog – Day 2, Week 1

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Exploration in the field of Health and Sciences

by Annie Donnell and Dylan Farmer

DREAM BIG participants visited the Health and Wellness Center at Paraquad with the Washington University School of Occupational Therapy (OT.) Jessica Dashner gave a presentation on OT, and programs available for students interested in OT. OT occurs in the home, in hospitals, through organizations, and in schools. Students learned about recreational therapy as well as specialized OT for someone.

Students got to explore the Health and Wellness Center at Paraquad and tour the gym while learning about adaptive equipment. Some include a wheelchair treadmill and an incumbent bike. Another portion of the tour focused on a research lab where individuals can practice using wheelchairs to make sure their wheelchair is the perfect fit.

Ryan said “Touring the gym was really cool because I got to see a wheelchair treadmill.”

The staff from Starkloff gave a presentation on self-advocacy, and problem-solving. Students learned the importance of having a supportive team, and how it is okay to ask for help when needed. Self-advocacy takes place in aspects of life including at home, at school, and on a college campus. Skills for self-advocacy include being a team player, being self-aware, being a good listener, and creating a few long-term and short-term goals.

During lunch, students participated in an activity on the topic of independent living. They discussed how independent living looks different for everyone and is a crucial part of becoming an adult. Students expressed what independent living means to them, and the steps necessary to take to become more independent.

Afterward, students and staff walked to the Saint Louis Science Center to explore the Grow exhibit. Everyone excitedly walked through the outdoor paths of the exhibit and learned about all the fruits and vegetables grown here by Danforth Plant Science Center employees Maddie and Terry. Also, students touched and could see inside a combine that harvests corn, and helps make corn products.

A hands-on activity today while at the Science Center included playing the piano using fruit which was connected to wires and a Raspberry Pie, a small computer. Each piece of fruit corresponded to a specific note. Students had an opportunity to play songs on the piano pressing on the fruit to play each note.

Michael noted, “It’s crazy how people spend $500 on a piano when they could make music on a fruit!”

When on the tour outside in the Grow exhibit, students were given a packet of beads and noticed a color change. The beads turned from white to colors of the rainbow when outside due to the ultraviolet light, which the students found really fascinating.

Students had an opportunity to learn in the GameXPloration exhibit next. Visitors have an opportunity to play games and can create their own games while in the exhibit. Afterward, they continued their discussion on independent living skills and learned from staff at the Academy of Science inside the Science Center.

Tuesday was a fun-filled day with lots of Xploration!


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