Physiology Understanding (PhUn) week is a yearly event sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS). As part of this annual event, physiologists visit K-12 classrooms and teach students about physiology. While the event is usually held in November it can be held at different times of the year to accommodate students’ and teachers’ schedules. The different methods in which animals stay warm in the winter was the perfect topic to bring into the second grade classroom during the winter. Students learned the role of a physiologist and the definition of thermoregulation. The class was very interactive when describing the differences in how animals stay warm in the winter: hibernation, fur, huddling together, and warm winter jackets. The physiologist then focused the discussion on three animals: polar bear, human and bird. The degree to which the polar bear fur, human skin and bird’s feathers provide insulation from the cold was discussed. To reinforce the knowledge learned, the students performed the Insulation Bag “hands-in” activity. Three sets of hand mitts made from zipper lock bags were immersed into a bucket of ice water. One empty set of mitts mimicked human skin, a second set with bubble wrap in the mitts was used to mimic feathers and a third set had a layer of vegetable shortening to mimic the insulation of a polar bear. The students tested each type of bag and then determined in which mitt their hands were the warmest. They then met Phreezy bear (APS stuffed animal) and completing the activities in the APS Fun with Physiology activity book for grades 2–4. Each classroom was given an APS How do I Stay Warm poster to remember the lesson. This PhUn week event is sure to create a lasting memory for both students and physiologist alike.
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This abstract is from the Experimental Biology 2018 Meeting. There is no full text article associated with this abstract published in The FASEB Journal.