Caption: From left are Nashoba Tech juniors Abigail Peckham (Shirley), Janneli Soto (Fitchburg), Hayley Barden (Groton) and Esperanza Nalesnik (Ayer).
Early Childhood Care students at Nashoba Tech received a crash course in parenting when they participated in a Reality Works Baby Simulator project.
The four juniors – Hayley Barden (Groton), Esperanza Nalesnik (Ayer), Abigail Peckham (Shirley) and Janneli Soto (Fitchburg) – had to care for the “babies” for four and a half days, taking them home every night, recording the feedings at 3 a.m., tending to the baby’s needs 24 hours a day, and keeping a video journal to document their daily experiences and feelings.
“This project offered the students so many different learning experiences,” said Christine Diaz, Early Childhood Care instructor. “This is the closest experience they can get to having and taking care of a real baby.”
The project also included a biological gender-reveal party to make it as realistic as possible.
“On day one, the students were so excited to start the project and collect their assigned infant,” Diaz said. “By day four, they were happy to return the infant simulator. They were exhausted from lack of sleep and having no free time.”