• Bradley students learn how body works

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    To coincide with the wellness and fitness unit taught in January and February, Bradley Elementary School hosted the Kansas State Department of Education Body Venture exhibit — developed and operated by the Child Nutrition and Wellness, KSDE — for Bradley kindergarten through fifth-grade students Feb. 1 in the Bradley gym.
    “It’s a state-sponsored activity through the (KSDE). It’s basically a traveling exhibit that goes around the state where the kids go in and have an interactive experience with different functions of the body,” said Pat Amon, physical education teacher at Bradley. “We are currently doing a fitness unit, talking about healthy eating habits, healthy living styles (and) wellness (in PE).”
    With his slogan “Eat smart, play hard,” Power Panther, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service mascot, guides students through the lunchroom, brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs, bones, muscles and skin, finishing with Power Panther’s Pathway to Life, while keeping in mind the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness throughout.
    “It is a great exhibit. The kids love it,” said Judi Salyer, Body Venture manager. “It’s real hands-on, there’s lots of visuals, and it holds their attention.”
    Bradley Principal Michaela Culkin said she liked how the exhibit brings the human body to life.
    “This is the human body in our gymnasium. The kids can walk through it,” she said. “I think that it’s great that at each station we have volunteers who are talking about the different parts of the body, and it just helps to bring it to life for the kids.”
    Dorothy Baragary, Bradley first-grade teacher, said the lunchroom and mouth stations, in particular, added to what her students are learning in the classroom and hoped the exhibit would teach the students the importance of eating healthy and staying active.
    “We’re actually doing a unit in our classroom about dental health. We’ve been talking a lot about their teeth and oral hygiene. So, (the lunchroom and mouth) really coincide with what we’re talking about,” Baragary said.
    “So many kiddos spend so much time in front of technology at home and not enough time outside being active. So, if they can learn the importance of that, that would be good.”
    Bradley first-grade teacher Ellie Tebbenkamp said her students enjoyed the exhibit.
    “They’re pretty enthralled right now and really into it,” she said. “I want them to have the whole idea of eating healthier, enjoying the fruits and veggies a little bit more, seeing how everything functions with your body, how those veggies are good for you, (and) what kinds of things they already do at home and what kinds of things they can continue to do at home.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Kindergarten student Rich Dorman said he was most excited to go into the brain portion of the exhibit.
    “I’m very smart (and) if you’re smart, you will break the world records in every place,” Rich said. “The brain is the important part of your body. It tells your body parts how to do it and which muscles to use like, how to pick a person up.”
    Several of the stations had examples of real human body parts for the students to feel and look at like bones and a healthy lung verses the lung of a smoker. Kindergarten student Joshua Griesmyer said he liked squeezing the foam turtle and learning what a muscle feels like.
    “My favorite part was squeezing and feeling our muscles because I’ve never felt a muscle before,” he said. “I also learned what to eat to give me the energy to do stuff.”
    First-grader Loralie Hanes said her favorite station was the small intestine and that she learned about a lot of different parts of the body.
    “I liked the small intestine because the small intestine has a bunch of wiggly things,” she said. “I learned that the bones need food to stay strong and that if you don’t wear sunscreen your skin can get hurt. The teeth part reminded me of what we’re learning about teeth, how to floss and brush our teeth. If we don’t they can get hurt, and how, if we smoke, our lungs can turn black and brown, but if we don’t they’ll be nice and healthy.”
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