Fifth-graders from Southwest Georgia Academy in Damascus got a view of college life recently – a view that included the insides of a computer they helped disassembled and a gross visual on the tolls alcohol and tobacco can take on the human body.
Dianne Houston, a fifth-grade teacher at the Academy, brought 16 of her students to Bainbridge State College so they could broaden their horizons.
“I asked to visit the College because I wanted them to get a taste of higher learning, to see that school and such subjects as math, science and reading really do matter in life,” Houston said. “There are many, many opportunities and experiences out there that they have no idea about.”
After she read an article in a local newspaper about Bainbridge State Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems Barry Reynolds lecturing to a Decatur County fifth-grade class about computers and computer information careers, Houston said she wanted her students to “experience the same awesome opportunity.”
The Academy students learned from Reynolds the components of a computer by essentially disassembling a computer and what function each component has.
“Of course they loved the hands-on part with the screwdriver and hardware,” Houston said. “How often do they get the chance to use a real tool on a real computer and not get into trouble?”
Reynolds told the students that their success in college depends on their success in middle and high school.
“We do a lot of math in this class, but I don’t have time to teach you math,” Reynolds said. “This is the foundation I’m going to have to have to teach you the fun stuff.”
Bainbridge State Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Wellness David Sarrette told the young students about the human heart and how to operate an automatic external defibulator, which are machines becoming more common place that help heart attack victims. He also had the students pass several big glass jars, one containing a human liver inflicted with cirrhosis and the other was a jar full of nicotine tar.
Houston said the first aid lesson was exactly what she had been teaching in science.
“I enjoyed seeing them realize things I’ve taught come out of another teacher’s mouth. That maybe, just maybe, I don’t make up what I teach,” Houston said.
Finally, Bainbridge State Enrollment Adviser Alan Killingsworth gave the students a guided tour of the College’s main campus.
Houston said her students also got the cool factor – where one day they could go to college and do some of the things they saw going on – “hanging out, checking out the bookstore, walking around campus at school without a teacher close by, wearing whatever they want to wear, and being their own boss.”
Southwest Georgia Academy students who visited Bainbridge State are Adam Bramlett, Beau Collins, Hank Harbin, Hailey Hargrove, Kate McGill Hattaway, McKinlee Kimbrel, Lillie McLendon, Cade Nixon, Rylan O’Hearn, Ansley Smith, Katie Sheppard, Avery Spence, Gillian Still, Daryn Trawick, Michael Turner and Hunter Tyler.