Baby simulators for Child Development get upgraded


The Family and Consumer Science department at Coginchaug Regional High School is proposed to get a raise in their repairs budget of $8,020 for the 2016-2017 school year. Looking through the budget for next school year, repairs don’t normally have a high increase. The department got $100 the previous year and nothing the year before. Jamie Bowman, a Home Education teacher, says that, “The increase in the repairs portion of the Family and Consumer Sciences budget is for the purchase of new baby simulators for the Child Development classes.”

Right now the department has nine baby simulators, though these simulators are worn out. They are an older version that have multiple issues like not holding a charge and sometimes turning off, and the sensors don’t work all the time. When Christen Bertz, the Child development class teacher, wanted to just repair the babies, she received an email that told her that the baby simulators that she has been using are “no longer supported by Reality Works” so she has to replace them instead.

Normally, Bertz says, the baby simulators would cost $900 each, but she is trading in the old babies for the new ones, so the cost is less. Even though the price is high in the budget, it still isn’t enough for Ms. Bertz to get as many of the simulators as she actually needs. She says that sometimes she has two child development classes at once, making it so that she has 20 students using only nine simulators. The upgraded baby simulators have mainly two new features. They now have a temperature sensor and a positioning sensor in the car seat to make sure the baby is put in correctly. This is a cost in the budget because as Ms. Bertz says, “These simulators are an essential part of the Child Development classes, the UConn Child Development class and sometimes my Health 11 classes.”