Mississippi BodyWalk Blog

being smart from the inside out

Snow Day Supper March 2, 2015

Filed under: Body Walk,MyPlate,Supper — mississippibodywalk @ 12:07 PM
Tags: , , ,

Good Morning Body Walkers!

We know Spring is on the way (hurry, hurry!) but in the mean time, we still have some cold weather to get through. Last week was a rare treat for most of the state, SNOW. It was so pretty and lovely and fun to play in. Many people got to sled on homemade sleds (who has a sled sitting around?) and make snowpeople and enjoy snow cream.

This morning, I heard that part of the state is already under another winter storm watch for later this week. So, now is the time to plan ahead so you can make the most of your snow day(s). Below are some links to tasty crockpot recipes so that you can spend your day playing without having to stop early to cook.

Winter Vegetable Stew

Company Pot Roast

Sweet Potato Gratin

Hope you have a great week, nights of yummy suppers, and that your power stays on.

Advertisements
 

Body Walk in Amite County March 3, 2014

Hello Body Walkers!

Last week, the exhibit traveled to Amite County, Liberty MS. (Age test: Aaamite County, LiberTY MISSissIPPi is the home of what famous comedian? Leave your answer in the comments.) This was an excellent trip. Before I tell you about the trip though, I wanted to show you a fun new item, buttons!

Body Walk and the OrganWiseGuys go together like walking and improved health. So, it only makes sense that the station presenters should have some OrganWiseGuys buttons to wear while they are teaching.

Adorable

Vegetables and Fruit

Protein

Protein

Gotta wear them ALL

Gotta wear them ALL

In Liberty, I worked with Amy Walsh. She is an Extension Agent in Amite County. She worked with the school to set the best schedule for the kids to come tour. She also worked with the Southwest MS Community College Nursing Instructors to arrange for their students to teach inside the Body Walk. I LOVE working with nursing students. They are always excited, full of energy, and they make the information fun for the kids. This group was a no different. Every time I listened to them teaching, the elementary kids were laughing, calling out answers, and just having a ball. We saw K-4th grade at Amite County Elementary School aka Liberty Elem.

Awesome presenters

Nursing students from Southwest MS Community College

Sometimes the station presenters or volunteers are nervous before the first group of kids comes in. Every now and then though, you get some people who are completely relaxed, who have no worries.

No worries.

No worries.

Before beginning the tour, sometimes it’s good to stretch, to get all your muscles loose and limber. A relaxed body and mind is one that is ready for learning. Some of the volunteers took turns leading the kids in some simple stretches so they would be ready to learn when they started the tour.

Loose and limber, limber and loose.

Loose and limber, limber and loose.

Once they kids finished their five minutes of stretching, it was time to start the tour. First stop was the brain. Here, the kids learned knowledge begins with a healthy mind.

Feed your brain good food AND good information.

Feed your brain good food AND good information.

The best place to learn about what is good food is in the Stomach Station. These ladies were showing plenty of examples of good food. They have plush models of fruits and veggies and they have life-like models of meats, grains, and juice.

Healthy food is ALWAYS a good decision.

Healthy food is ALWAYS a good decision.

When we have a healthy body, all the parts are working like they should. Some of those parts are the muscles. Muscle groups work together to breath, to digest our food, to let us throw a ball, or blink, or climb a tree. This last picture shows two volunteers working together in perfect harmony. She is reading the script, and he is prepared with all the props. He is holding one pound of fat, one pound of muscle, plush Madame Muscle, and he has the sack with the stress balls on his back. When she flips the page, he is ready to engage the group with the correct prop. Teamwork!

TEAMWORK

TEAMWORK

As you may have noticed, several of the volunteers are wearing the buttons. They were excited to get to wear them, and I was excited to have one more way to engage the volunteers in the experience that is Body Walk. It was a great trip.

Body Walk will be traveling to three counties in March and a specific day in March is when the Extension Agents will be able to book Body Walk for next Fall. I am looking forward to that, Body Walkers!

Hearty Heart loves the new banner.

Hearty Heart loves the new banner.

 

Body Walk, Union County, New Albany June 11, 2013

Our next stop in March was to Union county, New Albany. Here we saw third graders from five different schools. Gina Wills booked Body Walk for her county. It is always nice to work with her, Beverly Brooks and Karen Caviness, all Extension agents. We saw about 390 students over one day. Our station presenters were high schools students, Allied Health and honor students.

They gym at New Albany Elem is very spacious. There was enough room for the kids to tour, exercise after the tour, and enjoy two other exhibits. There was an anti-smoking table from the tobacco coalition, and a nutrition table from the Family Nutrition Program.

Healthy food to put on a plate.

Healthy food to put on a plate.

 

DON'T SMOKE!

DON’T SMOKE!

The high school students did a great job. They were full of energy.

 

We are here to tell you about your heart!

We are here to tell you about your heart!

 

Come learn about how awesome your small intestines are!

Come learn about how awesome your small intestines are!

 

We want To Pump, You UP!

We want
To Pump,
You UP!

 

IMG_0290

How fast can you make it to the end? Get that heart going.

Everyone had a great time, and the presenters did a wonderful job. Teamwork gets the job done.

Student volunteers at Body Walk in New Albany.

Student volunteers at Body Walk in New Albany.

 

 

 

 

Body Walk in Scott County, Forest Elementary March 8, 2013

Next up in February for Body Walk was Forest Elementary. This was my second time to set up all the new stuff (and I won’t count every time), and it went well. It is such a joy to see all the new items assembled. The exhibit as a whole just looks very nice in the different gyms. For this school, Carol Ballard booked the school. Cindy Adkins, school nurse, was Carol’s contact at this school. Cindy did a great job securing volunteers and planning the schedule.

Bearcats

Bearcats

Our volunteers were Allied Health students. They did a great job presenting the material to the Kindergarten, First, and Second grade students who toured the exhibit. The kids had a great time learning how to keep their brain, mouth, stomach, small intestine, heart, lungs, bones, muscles, and skin healthy. They liked having the high school students teach them and show them all the cool and interesting props that are unique to each room.

As always, the plasma light in the brain was an immediate attention grabber. The light simulates the speed of neurons firing in our brain. Without proper nutrition, those neurons don’t work like they are supposed to. A good breakfast with foods from all sections of MyPlate is a great way to start the day.

Thoughts are electrical signals in the brain.

Thoughts are electrical signals in the brain.

After we eat, it is important to brush our teeth. Healthy teeth let us eat all those healthy crunch foods.

A healthy mouth is important to overall good health.

A healthy mouth is important to overall good health.

Everyone should fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables.

MyPlate shows how much of each food group to have on your plate

MyPlate shows how much of each food group to have on your plate

 

Smoking is always a bad idea.

Windy says keep your lungs pink, don't smoke.

Windy says keep your lungs pink, don’t smoke.

Once the kids finished their tour, their teacher was given a stack of activity books, one for each student. These reinforce everything the students learned in their trip through the body.

An activity book and sticker.

An activity book and sticker.

Next up, Stone county.

 

 

 

 

Body Walk UPGRADED

Last post I promised you a BIG surprise.

Body Walk has been UPGRADED with NEW parts. This has been a long time coming. Last summer, I started the process of applying for a grant to get money to upgrade the Body Walk exhibit. All that hard work paid off and now the exhibit is much improved.  Body Walk has a new brain dome, new pop-up tents, new esophagus, new totes, new teeth bags, a new entrance for the mouth station, and two new bags.

The exhibit started traveling in 2005. Since then, minor things have been periodically upgraded such as food props, scripts and flip charts, and the back wall to the stomach when the USDA changed the food logo from MyPyramid to MyPlate. No major structural components had been upgraded. All the tents, frames and totes were the same. The exhibit travels nine months a year, being set up and taken down on average five times a month. Things eventually wear out.

Thus, new stuff! First up, the new brain dome. Our old one was an aluminum frame. Over time, all the buttons had stopped working as a way of holding the poles together. The structure was not as stable as it could be. The inside fabric was nylon, and the outside fabric was a heavy, non-breathable vinyl. The new brain dome has a super-steady frame of hollow aluminum poles. The fabric is not vinyl. It is lightweight, breathable, and machine washable! The outside and inside fabrics zip together so that the frame is completely hidden, adding to the illusion the students have entered a giant body for their trip.  The new fabric is very easy to work with and the inside graphics are fantastically done.

New brain dome and Sir Rebrum

New brain dome and Sir Rebrum

Frame and Grey matter

Frame and Grey matter from the outside.

Grey matter from the inside.

Grey matter from the inside.

The majority of the exhibit is made from pop-up tents. Each tent is a station. The tents are covered in printed vinyl walls and strapped together to form the ‘body’ the students travel through. The old tents were difficult to set up as they were missing screws, or parts had broken off, or in one case, were finally being held together with duct tape. No more. The new tents all go up smoothly. They are a breeze to set up and take down, with almost no effort. They are all true in shape, giving the exhibit a beautiful symmetry.

The exhibit seen from above.

The exhibit seen from above.

One of the critical parts of the exhibit is the esophagus. This is a metal frame with a fabric lining that sits between the mouth and stomach. Just as your real esophagus is the tunnel food takes in your body, our fake esophagus is the tunnel our nutrients (students) take from one station to the next.  The new one is very easy to put together and it looks great.

Tunnel between stations.

Tunnel between stations.

One of the most often photographed parts of the Body Walk is the entrance to the mouth. This is the part that is very colorful, has the name of the exhibit right on it, and is the part most easily recognized. The old entrance was made of three large aluminum pieces that were covered with a vinyl front that was attached with hook and loop tape. The new one is a very sturdy aluminum frame of many pieces that quickly join together. The whole thing is then encased in a fabric panel that zips shut. As with the brain, the frame is hidden, adding to the beauty and clean look of the exhibit. Wonderfully, this fabric is also machine washable.

The new entrance with the props for the mouth station.

The new entrance with the props for the mouth station.

New entrance with the tongue and teeth stools. Through the mouth, the stomach is visible.

New entrance with the tongue and teeth stools. Through the mouth, the stomach is visible.

This upgrade also included all new bags for the teeth stools and new totes to house all the scripts and props.

Teeth bags!

Teeth bags!

Fresh new blue totes to replace the old grey ones.

Fresh new blue totes to replace the old grey ones.

You may be wondering what happened to all the old stuff? It was recycled. There is a great recycling center in Starkville, home to Mississippi State University and the Body Walk. They were happy to give new life to the aluminum, canvas and plastic.

Pile of old frames from the brain, esophagus, and mouth entrance.

Pile of old frames from the brain, esophagus, and mouth entrance.

Frames loaded and headed to recycling center.

Frames loaded and headed to recycling center.

The new exhibit has been to three counties so far. The students are thrilled to come in to their gym and see the exhibit waiting on them. I have heard several gasp in surprise and delight as they make their way into the brain station. They love how realistic (but not gross) it looks. I love how well everything is traveling, and how easy it is to use. I am thrilled with the improvements.

Next up, Body Walk on the road again.

 

 

 

Body Walk in Fulton Mississippi February 8, 2013

The last trip of January was to Itawamba county. Marie Rogers booked this trip for her county. I have been here several times before. It is always a good experience. Usually, the football team from Itawamba Community College helps with the set up. They were on hand and they did a great job. When there is A LOT of help with the set up, sometimes it is hard to organize, or have everyone listening when they need to. Not a problem this trip. The men had excellent listening and teamwork skills. We had the truck unloaded, and the whole thing set up in under an hour.

The next day, 300 third graders came to see the exhibit. We saw kids from five schools, Itawamba Attendance Center, Dorsey, Mantachie, Tremont, and Fairview. Our volunteers were allied health students and nursing students. They all did a great job making the material come to life for the students. The Allied health students gave out bookmarks, helped administer the quiz, and served at chaperones to the groups.  The nursing students were station presenters, led the kids in 10 minutes of dance while they waited their turn to tour, and were in charge of shoe wrangling.

Starting with the brain, because a healthy brain makes smart choices.

Starting with the brain, because a healthy brain makes smart choices.

IMG_0154

In the mouth they learn to brush twice a day and floss! How can you eat healthy food without teeth to chew it?

In the stomach, they learn about MyPlate. Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables!

In the stomach, they learn about MyPlate. Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables!

With intestines 22 ft long, it's a good thing they coil up so well in our bodies.

With intestines 22 ft long, it’s a good thing they coil up so well in our bodies.

Hardy Heart knows how to keep a heart healthy. Eat smart and play hard!

Hardy Heart knows how to keep a heart healthy. Eat smart and play hard!

Want healthy lungs for life? Don't smoke!

Want healthy lungs for life? Don’t smoke!

Everyone can have strong muscles. Use them- 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Everyone can have strong muscles. Use them- 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Keep your skin free of germs. Wash your hands often.

Keep your skin free of germs. Wash your hands often.

Allied Health

The Allied Health class.

Nursing students from ICC.

Nursing students from ICC.

The kids loved learning how to ‘be smart from the inside out’.  Everyone did a great job.

Next up, something different.

 

Body Walk in Horn Lake Mississippi February 5, 2013

January rolls on and so does the Body Walk. Next up for the education exhibit was a trip to Horn Lake MS in Desoto county. Going go Desoto is always nice. Jessica Lindsey is great to work with. She is organized and efficient. Organized and efficient are two of my favorite words. We saw just under 600 students, K-2nd.

Horn Lake Elementary

Horn Lake Elementary

At this school, the station presenters were the same people every day. This was nice because once they had been through the script a few times, they had the information down pat. They could then put the script down and be more relaxed with the kids. They could ask a few more questions and make the lessons even more interactive. The volunteers/station presenters were teacher assistants and student teachers from the school. Another nice feature of this trip was the groups. EACH group had a chaperone. A lot of schools don’t have the manpower available to have a chaperone with each group. This time they did, and it was very nice. The overall vibe was subdued excitement. The kids were very attentive and all of them were able to hear and focus on the information being presented to them.

Ideally, each child is going to be healthy, awake and ready to learn. The reality though is sometimes kids don’t feel well. And sometimes when they don’t feel well, they ignore it because they don’t want to miss anything fun. When that happens, sometimes not feeling well makes itself known in other ways. Yep, I had my very first threw-up-in the Body Walk. Don’t worry. The kid felt MUCH better afterwards.

The reason I bring it up is because the lung station presenter handled it GREAT. While the group chaperone escorted the student to the nurse, the volunteer herded the kids outside the exhibit. She let me know what happened, and a new plan was devised.  The kids kept going through normally. When they finished the heart room, they came OUTSIDE and learned about their lungs. Then they got to use the ‘secret entrance’ to enter the bone station and finish the exhibit in the normal way. Thanks to everyone’s quick thinking, we didn’t get behind on the schedule, the kids still got the full experience, few of them knew a fellow classmate got sick, and everyone still had a good time. The teamwork was great to be a part of, and to see.

Kids learning about their lungs outside of the body.

Kids learning about their lungs outside of the body.

Every time Body Walk travels to a new place, the kids have questions. This time was no different. Some of the questions: “Is it scary?”  “Will we get a shot?”  “Will it hurt?”  The answer to all these is no. The best question was asked by a first grader. After the review, she wanted to know, ‘What’s next?” That’s the sign of a good experience, they want more.

The ‘more’ was the activity book the teacher received to use in the classroom that reinforced everything they learned in the exhibit.

Next up, Itawamba county.