Education notebook | Forestbrook students digest interactive lesson

vgrooms@thesunnews.comOctober 5, 2012 

Students at Forestbrook Elementary School had a learning experience they probably will remember for the rest of their lives.

The seventh-grade science classes teamed up during each block on Thursday to act out the path that food travels through the digestive system. Science teachers Tina Oshima, Michael Mangin, Laurie Dunn and Elise Page orchestrated the exercise, which Oshima said they’ve been doing for the last nine years.

Students were divided into two groups - food and organs – and the “food” group moved along a diagram drawn on the pavement and through the various organs. The “organ” students took their places in the appropriate spots to act out their various functions. After the first pass-through, the groups switched teams.

Mangin used a bullhorn to direct the action and launched the first “food” group into the “mouth” at the top of the diagram.

“Let’s take our first bite and see what happens,” he told the kids, as they took turns crawling through a cylinder that modeled the esophagus, then made their way into a circle of their peers – also known as the stomach - who, with arms linked, moved in together, then apart, to “gently smash” each food particle.

Students carried cards representing nutrients, water and bacteria that were given out as necessary at each “organ.” For example, as “food” students entered the small intestine, represented by students holding hula hoops, they were to give out their nutrients cards to be absorbed.

Then it was on to the large intestine, where Madison Pealer, 12, part of the bigger organ, explained that water had to be sprayed in the small intestine.

“Otherwise, it gets kind of rough in there,” she said.

The scene was hectic as the “food” traveled through the system, and at different turns, teachers issued warnings from “get out the nutrients” to “don’t get backed up.” Near the end of the course, students were “stored” in the rectum, before gently stepping one-by-one through a draped hoop, the anus, and into an imaginary toilet.

Hailey Bressi, 12, part of the large intestine, said she had enjoyed playing her part, which involved giving out “bacteria” in return for water cards.

“We learn things but do it in a fun way,” said Bressi, who said she would have liked the chance to be saliva, “so I can squirt people.”

The digestive voyage was the kind of interactive lesson that often forms a lasting memory, but students in the morning classes were able to relate to the exercise more immediately.

As Dunn told them: “Think about this when you’re eating lunch.”

Conway High NJROTC takes 6 trophies at drill meet

Conway High School’s NJROTC unit took home six trophies in the annual South Florence Drill Meet Sept. 29. The students won overall first place in Regulation Unarmed Squad, and Mike Jenerette, a senior cadet, won second place in the Regulation Individual Armed competition.

The cadets also took second place in the Armed Squad Competition, symbolizing the precise and sharp movement of handing rifles. The unarmed and armed competition proved to be successful with third-place trophies, while the color guard showed honorable salutes to the flag that won third place.

Seventeen cadets from the program also conducted an orientation trip to Charleston Sept. 22-23, which included stops at Fort Moultrie and sites around the city. They also stayed the night on the USS Nicholas (FFG-47), a commissioned U.S. Navy frigate from Norfolk, Va., that was in port for the weekend with its entire crew. The cadets stood watch with real naval personnel, slept in the enlisted berthing area, ate morning chow on the mess deck and took a complete tour of the ship. The unit was accompanied by Capt. Mike Mishoe and two other instructors from Conway High, CDR Russ D’Arienzo and Iris Sessions.

Waccamaw student tapped for national board

Imani Atkins of Georgetown has been named to the 2012-13 Souper Bowl of Caring National Youth Advisory Board. Atkins, a junior at Waccamaw High School, is one of 11 students from nine states chosen for the board. She attended the organization’s national youth leadership training in Columbia last month and will return in December to learn more about being an advocate.

The Souper Bowl of Caring mobilizes youth across the nation to collect donations and donate 100 percent of their collection to a local charity of their choice on or around the time of the Super Bowl. Student leaders are selected through a competitive national application process.

Seaside Elementary to host fall festival

Seaside Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization will host a fall festival Oct. 20, with proceeds benefiting school safety, fine arts, enrichment, reading initiatives and all other academic and character education programs for this school year. The festival will be held at the school, 1605 Woodland Drive, Garden City Beach, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The cost for wristbands for kids will be $10 and will unlock a variety of activities, including a beauty booth for temporary tattoos, hair and nails; kissing booth and burlap bag race. Additional games will be available at costs ranging from 25 cents to $1, as well as a dunk tank, silent-auction items, food and prizes.

For more information, visit

Academy teacher receives honor

Teresa Nirenstein, D.C., a teacher in the pre-med program at the Academy for Technology and Academics, was awarded the Challenge coin on behalf of Phillips Healthcare Corp. North America, a multinational healthcare organization. The honor acknowledges her dedication to academic excellence, and the coin in military tradition is a symbol of service, teamwork and effective communication. Nirenstein began teaching at ATA in August 2009.

Tickets on sale for Miss North Myrtle Beach High event

The 2012 Miss North Myrtle Beach High will be crowned Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. at the North Myrtle Beach High School auditorium, 3750 Sea Mountain Highway, Little River. The cost is $5 for students, $8 for adults, and doors will open at 6:15 p.m. Pre- ticket sales are being held in the school’s attendance office.

Twenty-two students will compete for the title and will be judged on a 3-minute talent performance, an interview and evening gown competition. Entertainment will be provided by Michael Sokolik Jr. of Socastee, who performs as Elvis around the country, and the North Myrtle Beach Highskool House of Rock band, under the direction of Brad Davis.

Horry County Schools wins environmental awards

Black Water Middle School, Lakewood Elementary School, North Myrtle Beach Primary School, Ocean Bay Middle School and South Conway Elementary School were each awarded the Gold Star Award for their school recycling programs for last year by the Horry County Solid Waste Authority at the 19th annual Environmental Awards Banquet held last month.

Cindy Lilly of Ocean Bay Middle was named the 2011-12 Recycling Liaison of the Year; Kim Mendez of Black Water Middle, Kim Strickland of Green Floyds Elementary School, Karen Cox of Kingston Elementary School, Michael Keyser of Lakewood Elementary and Martha Young of North Myrtle Beach High School were each presented the Recycling Super Star of the Year Award; and Don Poland of the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology was given the Environmental Eagle Award.

Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at

Myrtle Beach Sun News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service