Dunking in water and spinning in chairs, just a couple ways stud - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Dunking in water and spinning in chairs, just a couple ways students are learning about the human body


Middle and high school students from across South Dakota and Nebraska are getting a lesson on the human body from scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. It's all part Physiology Understanding Day, or PhUn Day, a program designed to connect K-12 students to the world of science.

"By engaging students early we might get some of them to continue their education and enter health and science professions," said Dr. Maurice Godfrey, Professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

More than 260 students showed up for Tuesday's event at the Marina Inn Conference Center in South Sioux City, Nebraska. With experiments and activities, students got to see how our bodies react to different circumstances.

"They've looked at the reduction in their heart rate when their face is put in water, which is a diver reflex," said Dr. Godfrey.

"There was another station where you would like spin around in a chair," said Gavin Farmer, 7th grader from Winnebago Public Schools. "Because your iris would start shaking after you stopped suddenly and they would still be shaking trying to see clearly and straight."

Another station has students running up and down a track. It may look like gym class, but students are actually learning about science. They're testing how long it takes their heart rate to increase and decrease with exercise. While this activity only requires a pair of running shoes, some of the others require a pair of medical gloves.

"The high school students dissected eyeballs," said Dr. Godfrey. "The middle school students are dissecting owl pellets."

"It's like a ball and it has like hair and feathers in it and bones inside of it when you open it," said Tailah Washington, 9th grader at Santee Community Schools.

"It's just all out fun all around because there are just so many activities to do," said Gavin.

Students say it's these type of activities that provides them with valuable information they can use for life.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is able to fund these types of events through a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health.

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