ROCK SPRINGS — The Health Academy Junior Class at Rock Springs High School has been conducting their annual Health Fair this month, sharing information student-to-student with area fifth and sixth graders.
The event took place in Tiger Gymnasium where Health Academy students explained different health-related issues and encourage healthy lifestyles with their younger peers.
“We do a group project where we combine students learning about a health topic and the legalities of that topic for their Government and English classes,” said Health teacher Darcy Bath, who has helped organized the Fair with other teachers for the past 10 years.
“So it’s a combination of all three classes, and they put together a booth to teach the information to fifth and sixth graders,” she said.
Last week the Health Academy presented to all the kids at Pilot Butte Elementary, and today they worked with students from Eastside Elementary.
The Health Fair has had a bit of a transformation over the years. Bath explained that the Fair presentations were originally planned for adults, and the Fair would take place at night. But over time that idea changed.
“We weren’t getting a lot of community people coming at night, so we thought we’d really just focus on our youth and so we opened it up to all fifth and sixth graders,” Bath said. “The principals from both schools said ‘hey if its good enough for some of our kids, why can’t all of them come,’ and we said ‘let’s do it,’ and we made it work.”
Entirely Student Driven
One specific group in the Health Academy is responsible for organizing the event. They don’t set up a booth. Rather, they’re commissioned to contact community members and ask if they’d like to participate. They also help the custodians set up the Fair on the gymnasium floor and the mezzanine.
“They also have to write letters to all the board members and the superintendent to invite them to come, they have to do all the shopping and write a grant,” Bath added. “It teaches them how to put on a big event. It’s awesome. The whole thing is student driven.”
Community organizations with booths at the Health Fair this year included Aspen Medical Center, RSPD, Sweetwater Medics, the Sweetwater County Health Inspector, Southwest Counseling and the Rock Springs Fire Department.
Student booths featured topics including dental care, alcohol, body image, stress, phlebotomy, distracted driving, fast food, portion control, fad diets, healthy snacks, sun safety, smoking and vaping, obesity and high blood pressure.