Elementary student journey inside the human body

Patty Decker / Free Press<p>Marion High School Key Club member spoke about the benefits of brushing, flossing and caring for teeth. She also pointed out how much sugar there is in one small candy bar.<p>

?Open the mouth, past the gums, look out stomach here it comes,? could have been part of the message at Thursday?s simulated tour of the human body.

Known as ?Body Venture,? elementary children from Marion and Hillsboro learned the importance of healthy food choices and the benefits of being active, said Kris Burkholder, MES counselor.

?Almost 500 kids between Hillsboro and Marion went through the 50-minute tour,? she said.

?We haven?t had (Body Venture) here for at least five and maybe even six years,? she said, but that is a rotating recommendation.

Linda Dunn of Topeka and one of the managers, said she was impressed with how many people volunteered to help set up Wednesday night.

Dunn said some schools are unable to offer volunteer help, which makes the job of set up anywhere from three to four hours long.

Burkholder said about 15 adults set up the 45-foot by 50-foot Venture-through exhibit in less than two hours.

?My husband came, school administrators were here, teachers and their husbands, two school board members, para(professionals), aides and their husbands,? she said.

?Justin Wasmuth (MES?principal) is a good coordinator,? Dunn said. ?He had the volunteers and worked to get this program here for a year.?Patty Decker / Free Press<p>The last area of the body children learned about before completing the Body Venture tour Thursday in the gymnasium at Marion Elementary School was the skin and its multiple layers. Teaching the benefits of having skin was one of the Marion High School Key Club members who volunteered to help.<p>

Also volunteering to teach lessons were Key Club members at Marion High School, Burkholder said.

?Linda Dunn met with the high school kids Thursday morning for about 45 minutes before we started,? she said.

Each high school student was asked to teach a lesson for five minutes for a total of 25 times, she said.

?If we hadn?t changed them out for a second group, it would have been a very long day.?

Dunn explained that prior to the Body Venture exhibit, the first USDA exhibit was ?Body Walk.?

As technology improved, though, with images on cloth and fabric on the inside defying gravity, it worked better, Dunn said.

Burkholder said students started the tour in the lunch room learning about food groups and healthy eating habits. Patty Decker / Free Press<p>Almost 500 K-5 students from Marion and Hillsboro end their Body Venture tour last Thursday with the ?Pathway to Life? station. According to Linda Dunn of Topeka and manager of the exhibit, children reviewed all the concepts they learned at the other nine stations. This station had many graphics, she said, to help kids remember the information presented.

The other areas included heading to the brain, tongue, mouth, stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs, bones, muscles and skin.

At the end of the tour, students went to the Pathway of Life and reviewed what they learned.Patty Decker / Free Press<p>Linda Dunn of Topeka, one of the Body Venture managers, talked about how technology has improved the exhibit and how the goal is teaching children to ?Eat Smart. Play Hard.? The 45-foot by 50-foot exhibit took MES parents, teachers and administrators almost two hours Wednesday to set up.

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