Photo by Noah Fisher

Discovery middle schoolers get CPR certified

Courses provided as an element of Discovery’s Project-Based Learning

Middle school students at Discovery examine different integrated theme units (science and social studies) through a Project-Based Learning (PBL) framework every eight weeks throughout the school year.

This allows students to experience relevant, place-based learning, and problem solving. Currently, we are studying geography and weather by answering the guiding question: how can we survive in extreme conditions?

We kicked off this unit with a virtual presentation from Conrad Anker, in which he discussed glaciology, climate change and preparing for expeditions. Through different mini lessons and group activities, students are connecting weather and geographic concepts to learn about how to prepare for trips, why extreme weather events occur, how climate change is affecting these patterns, and how to mitigate risks while exploring and enjoying the outdoors.

As part of the final project for this theme unit, Middle School students became American Red Cross First Aid and CPR certified with Cherry Eustace from Jolt CPR. Due to Covid-19, many of the public entities that provide these courses to community organizations are not offering classes at this time.

With the help of Ody Loomis, Discovery connected with Jolt CPR. In order to underwrite the cost of the course, each middle school student wrote a letter to the Erika Pankow Scholarship Foundation about why becoming CPR certified was important to themselves and the community.

Thanks to the grant funding from the Erika Pankow Scholarship Foundation and WIA, eleven Middle School students (grades 5th-8th) became certified in CPR and First Aid this past Tuesday. The certification lasts for two years and the students enjoyed the class.

Sixth grader, Lorelei, expressed that “She was able to learn life-saving skills that will stay with her for the rest of her life.” The instructor, Cherry, did an incredible job engaging the students and helping them to practice CPR and learn how to respond to different emergency situations.

At Discovery, it is important for our theme units to connect to the greater community. We feel that by providing our students with this opportunity to be Red Cross certified in CPR and First Aid, they are now able to contribute to our Big Sky community when situations or emergencies occur.

The goal is that this certification and increased awareness of risk assessment will be foundational moving forward as they pursue their passions outdoors.

Eighth grader, Rion Emery, said it best: “Once you take your first CPR course, your awareness about what’s happening around you is increased, and you feel more prepared for different situations that can occur.

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