By Philip Carney
On Feb. 23 the number of students at DHS increased for a few hours. Yet there was something different about these new members of DHS, they weren’t quite old enough to fit in with the rest of the student body. This is because these children weren’t here to learn, they were here to do the teaching.
Every semester the psychology classes at DHS host what is known as the “kid lab,” a day for the students to observe the behavior of children. The kid lab is a part of the class’ child development unit. Groups of students arrange for a child to be brought in during the hour that they have class. While it may not look like any actual scientific studying is going on, as the students play games and do other activities of their choice, the students are actually hard at work writing down notes. Each student predicted what child development theories their child would display. After observing the child they determined if their predictions were correct or if they were wrong. Senior Chis Barnhart participated in this past kid lab.
“We played around with the kid and observed them in their development stages,” Barnhart said. “We had a worksheet with three different columns where we recorded what aspects of development theories we thought they fit and which ones they didn’t.”
The children that participate in the kid lab range from siblings or friends of students, to children of teachers. DHS teachers Sarah Hechlik, Kathy Snyder and Thomas McNamara all enlisted the help of one or more of their children for this past kid lab. McNamara even brought in two of his daughters to help with the lab. Junior Alyssa Woo observed one of McNamara’s daughters for the kid lab.
“I didn’t know any kids and our teacher recommended using teachers’ kids,” Woo said. “She was really cute and we taught her physics up in the loft.”
Not only is the kid lab designed to further the education of students in the psychology classes, it offers other students at DHS a little twist to their day as well. Junior Lulu Wang, though he does not participate in the kid lab and is not an expert in the subject, enjoys seeing the kids around school and recognizes the differences between the functioning of child and adult minds.
“All I know is that the kid lab brings a bunch of cute little kids to Dow and they answer questions with unique perspectives,” Wang said.
While it may have appeared that DHS had become a daycare on the day of the kid lab, the children were not just running around being chased by a group of students for no reason. The kid lab offers students a chance to observe actual children and how they function differently from grown adults.