Upper School Students Present Research on Key Health Initiatives

Environmental health. Nutrition and weight. Mental health. Sleep.

These are just a handful of physical and mental health topics that students in grade 11 health classes identified as being pertinent to the Masters community. The students researched their topics in small groups and presented their findings, as well as suggested actions to take, during presentations on Thursday, January 24.  

“The goal was collaborative, immersive group work with the goal of solving a set of physical or mental health problems,” said Ryan Wagner, Head Athletic Trainer and health teacher. Wagner designed the project and collaborated with fellow health teacher Shannon Nicholson to implement it. Wagner and Nicholson combined their classes for the projects in an effort to bring together students with new and different perspectives.

As for how students went about deciding on their topics, “Our students are passionate about many things,” shared Wagner. “I wanted to leave them with the autonomy to pick an initiative they felt needed improvement here in our community.” Using the Healthy People 2020 initiatives set by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion as their guide, students chose an issue that they felt was relevant to the Masters community and began their research.

“Sleep health was a major topic of discussion,” shared Wagner, who noted that two separate groups “took unique routes to come up with helpful lifestyle decisions.”

The projects are the starting point for students to increase advocacy and raise awareness about health and wellness topics on campus. Nicholson hopes that one result of the students’ research is that they “take what they have learned from this class and these assignments to go make healthy choices on and off campus, as well as encourage their peers to do the same.”

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