Flour Hour

After two weeks, students will putting their babies to bed in Stratford’s Physiology and Anatomy classes

Gazebo Photo by Cap Patel
Junior Maggie McCullough

If you have seen junior and senior students carrying around bags of flour then do not be alarmed or concerned.

It is “flour baby” season at the Academy. It began on Wednesday, Feb. 28 and will end on Wednesday, March 14.

Ms. Jackie Waters, physiology and biology teacher, teaches the reproductive system to her physiology and anatomy classes. She requires each student to carry around a bag of flour as if it is their baby.

“The main motive for this project is to let the students know what it would be like to actually have to care for a child,” Ms. Waters said.

The project typically lasts for two weeks. Students must name their child, then log every time they feed, change, and play with their baby. The log answers questions such as where is the baby, care needed for the baby, and who is with the baby.

Students have to update these three questions every hour for the entire day. At one point during the projects, students have to wake up during the hours of 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. and email Mrs. Waters that their baby has woken up and how they (the student) will fix the problem. You can only do this on the weekday (from Monday to Thursday).

Stratford has had this project for more than 20 years. Ms. Waters got the idea to use flour bags instead of dolls from a website.

“The dolls are a big budget item so we decided to use flour bags instead,” she said.

Gazebo Photo by Cap Patel
Spanish teacher Mr. Ben McLain

The worst thing that could happen to the child is the flour bag breaking or leaking flour. If the bag breaks, then 50 points are deducted. Other ways points can be deducted is by not completing an assignment (research papers), leaving your baby, or not having your baby with you during the school day. Each student must bring their child to class. Student can hire a babysitter, but only for special occasions such as a sports event.

“It is fun but the weird looks you get when you walk around at the grocery store can get annoying,” said junior Maggie McCullough.

Katherine Hamilton, a junior, is not in the class but thinks the babies are cute.

“But I am glad that I do not have a flour baby because it seems like a stressful project and the baby is not an actual doll,” she said.

“In the beginning of the project, students beg for their flour baby and as it progresses, they get sick of it and beg for the project to end,” Ms. Waters said. “But then, the last thing they have to do is write a paper, and they all say that the experience was worth it because they really do learn a lot during the two weeks.”