IRONTON, Ohio (Sept. 25, 2006) -- Middle school students from Russell, Ky., took a field trip to Ohio University Southern Campus on Sept. 20 to view a live knee surgery through a videoconference, courtesy of COSI Columbus.
The Electronic Media Department at Ohio University-Southern partnered with Russell Middle School to allow them access to the necessary video equipment to make the viewing possible. Because of the equipment, Frances Peterson's seventh and eighth grade accelerated science students were able to watch a live knee surgery occurring at Mount Carmel East hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Throughout the surgery, students were in direct contact with the surgeon and were able to ask questions.
"I learned a lot about what they (surgeons) can do for people and about what really goes on in the operating room," said Russell Middle School student Matthew Fried, whose father, Robert, works as a cardiac thoracic surgeon.
Before the 40 students watched the surgery on large plasma screens in the Dingus Technology Building, they were able to tour the other technology facilities at the campus, located in Ironton.
"I wanted to show the students a college campus," Peterson said. "I also wanted to introduce them to different career possibilities and show them (video conference) technology in action."
In preparation for their field trip, Peterson's students learned vocabulary specific to medicine and used special kits from COSI to create model knee joints.
When Peterson's class returned to school the following day, students conducted a few post-surgery activities to show what they had learned. These activities included tying sutures on their model knees and using tools from their COSI kits.
Petersen became aware of this unique learning opportunity when Russell Middle School Principal Sean Horne forwarded her a list of science Web sites to explore. Petersen settled on http://edheads.org and found a link to the COSI Web site.
COSI has arranged access to an operating room, which uses compressed video to show four knee surgeries a month. Students in four different classrooms can view the actual surgeries as they are taking place and can have a teleconference with the surgeon.
"It's exciting to get the students out of the classroom and doing something different," Peterson said. "You remember trips that you take more vividly than sitting in class, and I wanted my students to remember this special day."
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