Blood drive combines learning with lifesaving for Bioscience students


A technician draws blood from a patient. Credit: Jason Messner / The Foothill Dragon Press

Marin Valerio

Each year, Foothill hosts at least one blood drive, giving students 16 years of age and older the chance to donate blood that has the potential to save up to three lives. October 16 brought about a drive with one major change from previous years: it was organized by the Bioscience Academy, taking over a job previously done by the Associated Student Body (ASB).

Bioscience took on the task of planning the drive for two main reasons, the first being a scheduling conflict. Sowon Lee ’19, who was previously the Special Projects Director for ASB, was unable to continue her work in ASB due to her Bioscience obligations. Since ASB no longer has anyone to fill that job, Lee was able to still plan the blood drive, but this time under Bioscience. The second reason was United Blood Service’s desire to work with the Academy to expand on the field trips to their headquarters.

Science teacher Mika Anderson believes organizing the blood drive “is a really good fit for the academy.” Exploring how blood is drawn and what happens to it afterward is “in line with the [students’] career choices and what they’re learning and studying,” Anderson stated.

Bioscience students will take a field trip to United Blood Services which will give them insight on how blood is processed and separated and where it is sent afterward. They will also be able to explore the different career options in that field. Students will continue to learn about blood throughout the year, typing their own blood, and streaking and staining it to look at the cells under a microscope.

Anderson believes with students doing the blood drive “we can have them make connections which makes the learning a little bit more exciting.”

The drive isn’t solely beneficial to the academy, but to people in need of blood locally and worldwide. Now is an especially crucial time to donate blood, with disasters such as fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods leaving numerous people in need.

The blood drive on Oct. 16 drew in 76 students that signed up to donate—11 more than last year. According to Lee, who was in charge of the event, “there were actually a lot more people than [she] thought” who signed up to donate.

A total of 56 pints were collected, having the potential to save up to 168 lives. United Blood Services will distribute two-thirds of the blood collected to local hospitals and the other third to hospitals around the country and the world. Donating blood is incredibly crucial for people who are physically able and eligible and is undeniably lifesaving.

Sydney Wilkov ‘18, a two-time blood donor, gives because of her best friend’s heart condition, and encourages others to donate as well.

“When you donate blood, it’s not going to your best friend,” Wilkov said. “But it’s going to somebody’s best friend.”


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