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Health Education for Local Communities

This article appeared in the April 29, 2011 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

By Lisa Justice
Special to the Enterprise

There is a traveling science museum making the rounds of local elementary schools.  It is Explorit Science Center’s Health in Your World Family Science Night program.

Health in Your World is one of two Family Science Night programs Explorit offers, along with Science in Your World.  Family Science Nights are a great way for schools and other community organizations to collaborate with Explorit and bring unforgettable science experiences to local families.

At Health in Your World students and their families are invited to explore a variety of themed stations such as “Fitness,” “Medical Tools” and “The Brain.”  Each station offers hands-on activities that demonstrate how your body works and how to keep it healthy.

Explorit Educator Carmen DeLeon describes the program as “a fun way of teaching health education by letting people learn things about their bodies that they didn’t even know they wanted to know.”  For instance, at the “Heart” station you can examine a model of a blood vessel treated with heat and one treated with ice to learn how changing temperatures affect blood flow.  These models help demonstrate that ice is the best treatment for swelling.

By engaging students and their families in hands-on exhibits and activities about the human body, fitness, nutrition and the environment, Health in Your World fulfills Explorit’s mission of making science education hands-on, accessible, and fun.  Children and parents alike can discover how much sugar is in a two-liter bottle of soda at the “Nutrition” station or play the “Infection!” game at the “Germs” station to learn how diseases are transmitted.

Schools can get even more hands-on health education fun with Explorit’s “Journey Through the Human Body” Science Assembly Program for schools that can be paired with a Health in Your World event. 

Health education is of paramount importance.  DeLeon said, “My favorite thing about Health in Your World is seeing how many people are surprised by something new they discover.  We live in our bodies 24/7, but most people forget or just weren’t aware of how they work.”

Building a life-long understanding of how your body works and what it needs to stay healthy is the goal of Health in Your World.  Program participants leave with a greater sense of how environmental and lifestyle factors can impact health and how they and their families can make healthy choices.

This year The Health Plan of San Joaquin made it possible for Explorit to provide 8 Health in Your World programs to schools free of charge for the 2011-2012 school year.

Funding from organizations like Kaiser Permanente and The Health Plan of San Joaquin makes it possible for Explorit to provide Health in Your World programs to nearly thirty schools each year, reaching between 2,000 and 4,000 people. 

Coming events:

• Summer Camp Jun 13-Aug 19: More information about themes and registration can be found at http://www.explorit.org/camp.  This year’s camp sections are loaded with great activities and learning experiences.  Explorit’s experienced educators and volunteers will engage your children in science and nature activities. Open registration begins May 2, and there are still openings in many classes.

• Today through May 20: If you know of someone who may be interested in volunteering as a Science Teaching Assistant during summer camp, he or she can contact Explorit’s Volunteer Coordinator at kristin@explorit.org. Applicants must be at least 12 years of age before June 13th.  Volunteer orientations will be held in May and June for accepted applicants.

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Explorit Science Center’s 3141 5th St. site is the location for field trips, programs for groups, and astronomy club meetings.  It is also the hub for Explorit’s traveling programs that reach an 18-county region.  The site is open to the public for special events and to groups by reservation. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org.

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