Educators, students, scientists share ‘PhUn’ in physiology

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 10, 2011

Faculty from Texas State University-San Marcos will partner with teachers at John Paul II Catholic High School in Schertz help students explore physiology--the study of how living things work--during Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week, which runs Nov. 7-11.

A team of scientists led by Dana García will visit the classes of Christina Kenney and Sarah Anderson to lead the students in hands-on, interactive activities to learn about how their bodies function and how medical discoveries are made.

PhUn Week 2011 focuses on the physiology of exercise and health. Students will learn about the cardiovascular, nervous and muscular systems by monitoring their own hearts and muscles as they exercise. They will learn about how exercise helps alleviate stress and how the kidney helps their body get rid of toxic chemicals. Additionally, they will learn how snakes are able to smell their prey and how that compares to how humans smell their food.

García will be joined by fellow faculty members Natalie Ceballos, Joseph Koke, Carolyn Pesthy and Erica Simpson as well as graduate students Ruben Tovar and Jessica Stewart, all from Texas State to engage students in their physiology exploration.

PhUn Week is an annual K-12 outreach program coordinated by the American Physiological Society, a scientific organization with 11,000 members founded in 1887. Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. The program gives students a chance to meet and learn from research scientists, learn about physiology in their daily lives and explore physiology as a possible career. It also builds local partnerships between science teachers and scientists to provide new materials for teachers and give researchers a chance to reach out to the next generation of scientists. More than 10,000 students across the nation are expected to participate in PhUn Week.

For more information, contact the APS Education Office, Dana García at (512) 245-3368 or