The M1 students at XLIS have been studying organ systems during their current unit in Science class. They have explored the parts and functions of the immune system, cardiovascular system, nervous system among the many other body systems. During their inquiry, the students have gained a lot of new knowledge and have been able to teach each other through presentations and round table discussions. To encourage students to apply their knowledge in the real world, Ms. Maggie created a summative assessment about organ donation. First, the students did some research about organ donation and organ transplants. They learned that the kidneys are the most transplanted organ across the world. They also learned that many people die each day while on the waiting for an organ donor.
To take their learning one step further and make real world impact, the students were asked to create posters or videos to encourage people to join the organ donation register. At the beginning, the students were slightly confused about what it means to be an organ donor. They thought it meant to voluntarily give away your organs now! After clarifying this misunderstanding with the students, Ms. Maggie thought it would be interesting for the students to speak with an expert in the field. Fortunately, she found someone to ask for help, a transplant nurse! Jennifer Milton is the head transplant nurse at the University Health Transplant Institute in San Antonio, Texas, USA. She has been involved in countless transplant surgeries and is an advocate who works with Donate Life America to increase organ donor registrations in the United States. Mrs. Milton jumped at the opportunity to share her work with the XLIS students. She also invited one of her patients to join the conference call. Her patient, Mrs. Dot, received a life saving lung transplant nearly 12 years ago. On the conference call, both women shared their knowledge and experiences with the students. One of the biggest takeaways was that 1 organ donor can help up to 83 people! The students were able to ask any additional questions they had about organ donation. Some students wondered about Mrs. Dot’s personal experience undergoing an organ transplant. They learned that organ transplant recipients have to take medication every day for the rest of their lives. Other students wondered about using animal organs for transplants and found that scientists have tried this unsuccessfully; but, that stem cell organ transplants are being tested. Overall, the students gained a lot of knowledge that they have been using to complete their final projects.
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Sloane Hill (EAL and MYP English Language Acquisition Teacher, Language Acquisition Subject Area Leader, Co-Head of House)