A monthly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) event held for local children on Sept. 18 at Bardstown Elementary School featured various lessons in health care, giving local students a chance to explore the world of medicine. The afternoon event was part of an ongoing program initiated this spring and is designed to bring unique learning opportunities to Bardstown-area children.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are a sponsor of the program, one of a few ways they are investing in the local Nelson County African-American community as part of a larger initiative. On Monday, SCNs Jackulin Jesu and Tonya Severin, as well as Associate Nancy Kaelin, were present for the activities and to interact with the children.
Each monthly event has featured its own theme and lessons, with health care being the focus of this month’s activities. Students took turns rotating to different activity stations, which included suturing, anatomy lessons and ambulance operations, splinting and basic physical exams. Partnering with CHI Saint Joseph Health – Flaget Memorial Hospital, local doctors, nurses and other health professionals helped lead the lessons.
Sister Tonya spent her time at the suturing station, where kids practiced using needle drivers to pick up items and later practiced suturing on medical materials. The skill was something she had never done before, but she loved watching the children learn and practice with the tools, their faces lighting up when they finally achieved their goal. Students also had the opportunity to tour an ambulance parked outside the school, practice basic first aid techniques, listen to heartbeats with a stethoscope, and put on scrubs while they learned about hygiene and safety in the operating room.
The monthly activities are one of many ways in which the Sisters have been able to connect with local students over the last year.