Health Fair educates with unique strategies


Health student Ilana Maiman showcases the ins and outs of hallucinogens at Thursday’s Health Fair. Students across health classes worked for weeks leading up to the event, preparing gripping presentations about various issues that will affect students as they move through the different stages of life. Photo by Sam Falb.

Sam Falb

Health classes have worked throughout the semester to prepare for last Thursday’s all-day health exhibition, which included presentations and activities that explored the various drugs and mental illnesses that students may come in contact with throughout their lives. Groups created colorful tri-fold boards, informational pamphlets and brochures and simulation games in order to educate guests at the fair about their given topics.

Students passed through the gym during periods one through seven to visit friends’ projects, take in information about different issues and participate in different activities through their P.E. classes.

“The anti-depressant poster was really well-organized and they gave out a lot of good information.They knew a lot about their subject and they gave out lollipops, which was a good attractor,” junior Erin Szumlas said.

Szumlas was among many students at the fair filling out written assignments on the different projects dotted around the exhibits in a pseudo-bingo format spelling out B-W-E-L-L. Questions included: “What is a phone number for a mental health/suicidal crisis?”, “State a difference between a healthy and unhealthy relationship” and “What are some helpful ways to cope with loss and grief?”.

Aside from issues based around the condition of the human mind, students covered topics ranging from obesity and physical fitness, identity protection online and protection against viral infections.

“We had to learn a lot about [immunization], what it is, misconceptions that people have about it, where you can get immunized and how important they are to know about. So many people think that [immunization] causes dangerous things that it really doesn’t, like autism, and that’s really false,” freshman Chloe Farago said.

Farago displayed her project on color-coordinated card stock, handing out pamphlets and stickers along with information about what immunizations mean and why they’re so important to take advantage of.

Students were especially encouraged to explore their topics in unique ways, and the Zika virus project’s “Whack A Virus!” game embodied this goal to the fullest extent.

“They wanted a game that was thinking outside of the box, so we gave them a box,” co-producer and senior Christian Ackerman said, gesturing to the lifesize version of the classic arcade game.

Ackerman’s role was to sit inside of the box and move his fists through the holes in the top of the structure as contenders swatted them with a fly trap – a simulation of the real-world challenge in eradicating harmful mosquitoes that spread the virus.

“There’s no real cure for Zika yet. The treatment is kind of just drinking water, so if you get it you kind of have to just live with it forever, which I thought was pretty interesting,” co-producer and senior Sydney Albert said.

The winter Health Fair promoted wellness, disease prevention and treatment for mental illness among myriad topics. It will be interesting to explore the Health Fair produced by second semester students come spring and see just how out-of-the-box their projects will be.