High-Tech Babies Made in Wisconsin Shown to Prevent Teen Pregnancy in Colombia
National Geographic article follows Colombian teens as they “parent” RealCare Baby® infant simulators
Eau Claire, Wis. (February 9, 2017) – With the help of computerized infants made in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, ninth-grade students from Tame, Colombia recently learned what being a teen parent could be like. The students were part of their public school’s “¿Bebé? ¡Piénsalo Bien!” or “Baby? Think It Over!” program, part of larger community efforts to prevent teen pregnancy among rural teens. The “Baby? Think it Over!” program combines 30 hours of in-class instruction with a 48-hour period during which students care for RealCare Baby® infant simulators, realistic robotic babies made in Wisconsin. As National Geographic recently reported, the program was shown to reduce teen pregnancy by more than 40 percent among a study of 1,400 student participants.
"From the day that RealCare Baby was ‘born’ 20 years ago, our mission has been to help young people around the world make healthy choices,” said Realityworks President and CEO Timm Boettcher. “We’re dedicated to creating products and services that improve the lives of others, and we are thrilled that our experiential learning tools are helping to make a positive impact in Colombia.”
RealCare Baby is a high-tech infant simulator that cries for care throughout the day and night. During a simulation experience, like that which the Colombian students participated in, Baby requires its caregiver to respond to cries for feeding, diapering, changing and rocking 24/7, just like a real baby. Baby is also programmed to track the way it’s handled, whether it is dressed appropriately for the weather, has been abused or mishandled, and how much time it spends in its car seat.
A large part of what makes the RealCare Baby program successful is the simulator’s use in conjunction with comprehensive curriculum and interactive activities, like Columbia’s program did. As National Geographic reported, Columbia’s program also had students participate in 30 hours of instruction on topics like basic sex education and contraceptive use to gender stereotypes and roles, domestic violence, and family budgeting. It culminates with a final exam and video and written testimonials.
“We strive to help educators create interactive, hands-on learning environments that help instructors bring lessons to life," said Boettcher. "RealCare Baby is a great example of how hands-on learning aids and comprehensive curriculum can be combined to help educators engage, impact and educate today's students while teaching valuable life lessons."
For more information on Realityworks' products and programs, visit http://realityworks.com/. To read the original National Geographic article published in February 2018, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/02/dispatches-teen-parenting/.
About Realityworks, Inc.
Established over 20 years ago to better address teen pregnancy prevention, parenting skills, child abuse and neglect through educational products, Realityworks, Inc. is dedicated to creating experiential learning tools that engage students, teach needed skills and provide career exploration opportunities. Most famous for their RealCare Baby infant simulator (formerly known as Baby Think it Over or BTIO), Realityworks now provides comprehensive learning solutions that pair curriculum with hands-on learning aids, student activities and assessment tools to create innovative learning environments. These solutions are used in middle, secondary and post-secondary schools to address a variety of Career & Technical Education pathways, including health & human services, health sciences, welding and trade skills, agriculture education, sex education and more. With simulators in 62 percent of U.S. school districts and programs in more than 90 countries around the world, Realityworks has made a worldwide impact. For more information, visit www.realityworks.com, or call toll-free 800-830-1416.