More than 250 seventh-graders from the Health Sciences Academy at Monroe Middle will visit Wingate University Friday, Feb. 15, to tour a giant, inflatable heart and take part in a mini health fair of sorts in the McGee Health and Wellness Center.
Billed as the world’s only portable walk-through heart exhibit, the 13-foot-high and 26-foot-long Mega Heart will enable students to get an inside look at cardiovascular functions, see examples of various types of heart disease and learn about medical treatments for heart problems.
Atrium Health is teaming with the University to provide the exhibit, and personnel from Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute will be on hand to talk with students, as will students and faculty members from Wingate’s health science programs, who will man a half-dozen educational booths also focused on heart health.
Laurel Healy, Union County Public Schools’ director of secondary education and staff development, says the field trip is designed to align with the seventh-grade science curriculum, in which students are challenged to understand the general functions of the major body systems and ways that they interact to sustain life.
“This experience also aligns with initiatives in our district’s strategic plan,” Healy says. “Among those are creating grade-level activities, goals and objectives for college and career interest and developing a partnership engagement strategy to connect schools with businesses and community groups.”
In addition to touring the heart, students will get a lesson in hands-only CPR and will see a demonstration of how Wingate nursing students use human patient simulators. They will play a heart health trivia game, learn how to monitor their own pulse rates and investigate the role of nutrition in maintaining good health. They’ll also take a short tour and have lunch in Wingate’s Cuddy Arena.
Health science students from Forest Hills High School, who are already taking part in a mentorship program via Wingate’s School of Pharmacy, will also help with the event, which is scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We love it when our high school students can serve as role models for our younger students. It can be a great experience for both groups,” Healy says. “It reminds our high school students of the positive impact they can have on younger students and the responsibility that goes along with that. It gives our younger students a glimpse of where they can be in a few years.”
The field trip will serve as a precursor to the University’s Community Health Fair, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Union County Agricultural Center. Joining Wingate to offer the free event are Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Novant Health and Atrium Health. Other sponsors include AmerisourceBergen, Harris Teeter Pharmacy, Community Health Services of Union County, Union County Public Health and the Union County Center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension. The Ag Center is located at 3230 Presson Road, Monroe.
For more information about Wingate University, visit www.wingate.edu.
To learn more about Union County Public Schools, visit www.ucps.k12.nc.us.