My students are in grades 9-12. Almost half of my students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and we are located in a rural area of Oklahoma. My students take various Family and Consumer Sciences courses including Marriage & Family Life, Parenting & Child Development, and Adult & Family Living. These courses are designed to provide knowledge of family life and factors that influence lifestyles and decisions. Attention is focused on marriage and family skills, life choices, and parenthood and family changes. They also provide basic knowledge of child development and develop skills necessary to care for children and promote children's development. Students also examine theorists, child health, first aid and nutrition.
My students need an Empathy Belly Pregnancy Simulator to allow the teenage girls AND boys to experience over 20 symptoms and effects of pregnancy. "The Empathy Belly" Pregnancy Simulator is a multi-component, weighted "garment" that will, through accurate simulation, enable female and male wearers to temporarily "experience" more than 20 of the typical symptoms and effects of pregnancy. Through this hands-on, experiential learning, wearers find out what it feels like to be pregnant, and gain a realistic understanding of the changes and demands imposed by the pregnant condition. Some of the symptoms and effects that can be felt by wearing The Empathy Belly for 10 minutes or longer include: Body weight gain of 30 or 33 pounds; continuous pressure on the abdomen and internal organs; postural changes of the back; shift in one's center of gravity; mild "fetal" kicking and stroking movements; shallow breathing capacity and shortness of breath; increase in body temperature, pulse and blood pressure; and pressure on the bladder, with increased sense of urgency and frequency of urination.
When it comes to teen sexual behavior, pregnancy, and child-bearing, the message is simple: Progress has stalled. The fact that there has been essentially no change in teens’ high school sexual and contraceptive behavior makes it clear that we all must intensify and be more creative in our efforts to prevent too-early pregnancy and parenthood. Complacency is not an option. Please help me creatively reach my students by leaving a lasting impression of pregnancy with The Empathy Belly!