Me: I'm gonna go make dinner.My posts never get much attention.
Come back:.... So many replies!
OK! So lets go ahead and cover this bit-
So first of all you can't turn it off. It's preprogramed with set on and off times. The baby can detect what is done to it. Like you left it in the carrier too long, if you were rough with it, if you didn't give good head support, if you missed care events (feeding, burping, changing, or rocking), if you kept it too hot or too cold. It keeps track of all of it and IT gives you a grade, which the baby project (or the alternative) is worth about 30% of your total grade for the marking period. BTW this is a high school credit class as well. I can also tell if the kid even TRIED to care for the baby as it records how many times the ID bracelet (which can't be taken off until I cut it off!) was used on the baby.
The really cool part is these babies are based off of REAL babies that were followed for 24 hours and had it documented what needs they had and when- so you are caring for a real baby that existed at one point in time.
So why do we do it? Well this is part of the endorsement track in high school that puts you on careers that put you in an environment where you are responsible for other peoples kids. It also just gives you a rough idea of well... how rough it is to care for a living baby as all that is missing is the babies cannot move, and they do not produce real waste or spit up. Nor do they respond to bright lights or loud sounds. There have been many students who came into my class in 7th grade thinking they'd have a baby at age 20, thinking it's a breeze to care for kids while balancing school work.
The boys take home the baby too (most of them, get to that in a sec) but my class IS an elective- so it's not required. That said the boys have gotten valuable lessons as well. Still, in middle school they can only have it for 1 night, as I can't disrupt classes by giving it to them first period. In high school they get it for a full 3 days.
Now for this concern, you'll have to blame the parents. Agian, my class is NOT required. Someone had to choose it- be it the students or the kids. With as advanced as these babies are, they are computers. They transmit and receive data. They cost $900 dollars EACH, which the family is responsible for if anything happens to the baby. SO, we can't force anyone to take the baby home. Parents must sign off and students must pass safety tests. Parents that force their kid to take it, generally have good reasons to do so! But easily 80% of my students (boys included!) take my class solely for this project.
Those that don't take home a baby, or fail to keep the baby "alive" (yes.... it's happened... I've had kids "kill" the baby due to very poor care and it to in went into a programed in "death"), do an alternative project where they do a lot of research into what it takes to care for a child.