Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Stethoscope -Zero Investment yet Thoughtful

One of the common devices that we see worn by a doctor is a stethoscope. Learning the name of stethoscope, its function, short history, geographical location of its origin and reason behind its invention in a integrated lesson is exciting for a teacher and students alike. The fun part of a integration lesson is the art of designing a workable stethoscope using garbage. It involves creativity of the individual student, an agreement for a best idea within the working group, and the idea of turning litter into a productive item.
Students in groups of four members were asked to make a stethoscope using available materials from the environment. So, using flexible plastic tube found in and around the Chokyi Gyatso Institute, small pet bottle with cap on it, plastic wrapper and cello tape, all the groups came up with their own creations. The investment for the construct was very simple yet thoughtful. It was a collection of garbage. However, there were other educational values such as using their creative thinking, motor skills, hands-on practice and changing the way they look at garbage.
Here is how the stethoscope is made, as explained by one of the groups to the class. They need approximately a 3 feet long tube. Cut the flexible plastic tube into two parts. Tube A measures 2 feet and Tube B measures 1 foot long. Tube B will be used to plug into our ears as the listening device.First, to construct Tube A, we need a small pet water bottle. Take a measurement of 2 inches from the bottle cap and mark it. Cut off at the measured point and level it with scissor. We will get a funnel shaped like structure.This will be used as a vibration device to be placed on the chest. Wrap a piece of plastic tightly to seal the opening over the cut off edge. Now make a hole through the bottle cap. Connect it with one end of the Tube A and seal it air tight with cello tape. Now we have one end ready. The other end will be connected with Tube B. For that, make a hole in the middle of Tube B (at 6 inches) and connect the other end of Tube A by sealing it air tight with cello tape. To make ear plugs: take a measurement of 2 inches from the end of Tube B on both the ends. Cut half way through each measure and bend it 90 degrees. Next, seal it with cello tape. There we have a stethoscope.
Each group has come up with their own design of stethoscopes with some distinction in the shapes and some additional designs such as ear plug, the size of the pet bottle and the materials they have chosen. Some groups have constructed it using a big tube and a big pet bottle. Those were very large and heavy to carry, nevertheless are good and loud for listening the heartbeat. Students were making fun with each other for those big stethoscopes for checking the heart rate of an elephant.
While there is learning taking place, there should also be fun. The combination will result in retention and excitement in education. The way of learning that has fun with practice orientation should take place within the content of ecological integrity, waste friendly ideas and learning as creativity, and we are providing those experiences as much as possible through similar activities of construction.