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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Jayhawk, Pleasanton students take 'journey' inside the body

Pleasanton Elementary School students enter the “mouth” of the Body Venture interactive learning exhibit. Both Pleasanton and Jayhawk Elementary schools hosted the exhibit earlier this month. (Submitted photo)

Fantastic Voyage, a movie released in 1966, was based on a science fiction story about a crew of physicians in a submarine, all shrunk to microscopic size, which was injected into the body of a scientist to repair a blood clot in his brain.

The crew of the ship, named Proteus, encounters numerous hazards as it courses its way through the body to the brain, including an attack of white blood cells bent on destroying the invader.

Although there were dangers awaiting them, students from Jayhawk Elementary and Pleasanton Elementary schools took a similar plunge inside the body earlier this month when the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) Body Venture experience visited each school.

Body Venture can visit about 100 schools next year, according to Cheryl Johnson, director of KSDE’s Child Nutrition and Wellness (CNW) team. Body Venture is an enclosed, walk-through exhibit representing the human body.

Volunteer Erin Mendenhall talks to JES students about nutrition before they enter the exhibit. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

It takes each group of students about an hour to complete the 11 learning stations in the Body Venture experience.

At each school a crew of volunteers helped set up several inflatable chambers on the gym floors. With several blowers keeping the structures inflated, the volunteer speaker at each station wore a small microphone attached to a speaker so that she or he could be heard by the small groups of students as they visited each station.

Avah, a third-grader at JES, uses rope-size dental floss to clean the oversized teeth. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

The students began their journey with an introduction to nutrition followed by a talk about the function of the brain. The presenter in each segment used a flip chart that on the side toward the children had illustrations and some print while on the presenter side had a script to follow.

Jayhawk physical education teacher Ryan Metcalf said the exhibit provided a good learning experience for the students.

Nathan Miek, Pleasanton Elementary School principal, said that the students there enjoyed to experience and took advantage of the learning opportunity.

Volunteer Alyson Lewis describes the functions of the lungs to PES fourth-grades. (Submitted photo)

Volunteer Elizabeth Johnson talks with fourth-grade PES students about the lungs. (Submitted photo)

JLHS sophomore volunteer Brea Dawson talks to students about bones. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

Jude Thomas, JLHS sophomore volunteer, goes over information with students to help them remember what they’ve learned in the exhibit. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

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