You are here

Oconomowoc High School Students Take Virtual Field Trip Inside the Human Heart

Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Oconomowoc High School students watch a live open heart surgery on a screen in their classroom
“This field trip really opened my eyes to the surgical world. Watching the anesthesiologist work alongside the entire surgical team was amazing. I had no idea all of the different aspects anesthesiologists were in charge of during surgery," remarked Dakota, a 12th grade student.

Fifty Oconomowoc High School students participated in a virtual field trip called "Live From the Heart," hosted by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The students, grades nine through 12, are all currently enrolled in one of the four Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science classes offered through the district.

The "field trip" was a live, interactive video conference feed from a real open heart surgery taking place at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Illinois. During the live stream of the open-heart bypass surgery, students were able to view the procedure, hear a detailed description/analysis from the surgical team, learn about the various careers related to the operating room, and ask real-time questions to various members of the surgical team.

The students were captivated by the experience. Chelsea, a 12th grade student, said, "I enjoyed hearing the descriptions of the surgical team talking through and showing what they were doing. I was in awe while watching the vein get sutured to the heart. Watching the scope view of the vein extraction was amazing. I had no idea how intense and physically demanding surgery can be for the surgical team!"

Olivia, another 12th grade student who took part, said, "Learning about the various occupations involved in heart surgery was very interesting. I had no idea what a perfusionist was, but after attending the field trip, I will be considering that career while going on to college."

The field trip was facilitated by the health sciences teachers and administrative assistants at Oconomowoc High School. The high school has been offering this opportunity to students for a few years and hopes to continue as long as it's on offer. 

Thanks to Melissa Jonas of the Oconomowoc Area School District for her help with this article.