Mrs. Orange’s Child Development Projects

Mrs. Orange's Child Development Projects

Jess Walter, Writer

The Child Development program here at Redbank Valley does a Real Care Baby project once a year where students get to take home a computer programmed baby.  The infant simulators are put in students’ care for a weekend.  They are supposed to teach high school students the crucial aspects of taking care of a baby, including parental education, child care skills, infant safety, and the awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The babies are activated by an electronic device by Mrs. Orange, and the students will be responsible for taking care of them all weekend.  When the babies are activated, they are able to cry and scream.  The babies cry because they need one of four things: fed, changed, burped, or rocked.  When the baby cries, the student is in charge of figuring out what it needs.  The students have to try all four tasks until it stops crying.  The baby can cry at any time through the day or night.  The system that operates the baby records the amount of time it spent crying over the weekend. This permits Mrs. Orange to give the student-parent a grade based on how well he/she tended to the child.

Although taking the Real Care baby project is strongly encouraged, Mrs. Orange does offer an alternative project for students.  The project consists of several parts.  The students will find six articles on teen parenting, compose 15 questions from their research to conduct interviews with three woman who became pregnant during high school and three mothers who became pregnant after their teenage years.  Students then synthesize all the information, write about what they learned, and create a poster with a written reflection.

Hopefully the Real Care babies and alternate projects can teach students the responsibilities of having a child and how that child can change your life.


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