Back-to-school is an exciting time. It marks the start of another school and the start of the fall season. For some physiologists, the fall signifies it is time to plan and participate in K–12 science events, such as science day, health day, science fair judging and more.
One outreach activity gaining momentum among physiologists is Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week. This November marks the 10th anniversary of PhUn Week, which takes scientists outside of the lab and into K–12 classrooms all across the country for the purpose of inspiring students with hands-on physiology activities.
There is no better (or easier) way to relate physiology to students’ lives and ignite curiosity than by exploring the senses (neurophysiology). But PhUn Week is not just for kids. Adults can get in on the action by learning more about physiology and trying some cool experiments, too.
Want to get in on the PhUn? Check out the September issue of “The Scientist,” dedicated to the sense of hearing and how the human ear translates sound into nervous impulses. In line with the theme of hearing, try an activity that makes sound come alive. For example, you can play a matching sound game or see sound waves or your pulse. Regardless of the physiology activity you select, make sure you have “PhUn” with science outreach.
Jessica M. Ibarra, PhD, is an assistant professor of biology at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.