Sgt. Corey Ross of the 41st Fires Brigade shows third- and fifth-graders how to use a remote control to adjust a 10-ton wrecker crane at Meadows Elementary School Monday at Fort Hood. The school’s Adopt-A-School unit conducted an academic field day and plans to do it again today for fourth-graders.

By Todd Martin
Special to the Daily Herald

FORT HOOD — Somehow, the math and science of measurement and blood pressure come alive when Army medics and crane operators are doing the teaching.

At Meadows Elementary School Monday, third- and fifth-graders took part in an academic field day with six activity rotations, courtesy of the 41st Fires Brigade.

Soldiers showed students their ambulance and allowed them to take turns lifting a classmate on a litter and into the military medical vehicle.

Students also tried their hand with a remote control, maneuvering a wrecker crane.

Other stations introduced students to medical devices, including a blood pressure cuff and a gas mask, bringing curriculum objectives to life in the form of soldiers’ daily tasks.

The same event is scheduled today for fourth-graders. Killeen Independent School District students have a holiday Wednesday through Friday in observance of Thanksgiving.

Sgt. Corey Ross and Spc. Ryan Bresnahan said they figured out quickly that students were far more interested in lining up to have a short turn at controlling the crane than they were in earlier asking questions.

The 10-ton wrecker, the soldiers said, is a recovery vehicle for the Army.

Each station corresponded to questions teachers provided that tie math and science objectives to the real-life demonstrations, computer aide Tabitha Lemacks said.

Students guessed and then found out how big the tires were on the vehicles. They learned about blood pressure, about jobs that require gas masks or global positioning satellite and what comes in a military first aid bag.

“I really liked it,” said fifth-grader Timmy Stoner. “They let us try different things and get active. We found out about their jobs. I liked the crane.”

“I liked putting on the gas mask,” said fifth-grader James Weaver. “It felt kind of hot,” explaining that soldiers use the mask to help breathe in certain hazardous situations.

After the two-hour academic field day, students returned to their classes to write about their experiences, including how the activities related to subject matter.

“Kids respond so well when someone else does the teaching,” said fifth-grade teacher Jared Disher. “It breaks up the routine and gives them something different.”