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CHASSELL – It was all hands on deck today as students took part in some special activities.

As part of International Biology Week, students from Michigan Tech brought physiology activities to Chassell High School. The topic of the day was physiology, or how the body functions.

Part of that included students constructing a box that they would then be using to go through a short course and it’s all in the name of science.

“When you would go through the course with the box, students would find that it was a lot harder,” said Steve Elmer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrated Physiology at Michigan Tech. “We would connect that back to turning. The radius for turning is very important and once we got through the activities, students graphed their results, they had to share it with their peers and then we connected the results or applied them to rehabilitation in Olympic sports and even dinosaur evolution.”

The idea is to get students excited about Physiology and Biology when the time comes to choosing a career path.

“Here in our four surrounding county areas, we have a huge shortage in healthcare professionals; physicians, dentists, and physical therapists for example,” says Elmer. “So we really think our first step is to get students interested in how the body works so that they will eventually go on to pursue more careers in the health sciences.”

The outreach activities are funded by a $500 Physiological Society outreach grant. So far, the response has been positive.

“I think the students love to be doing any kind of activity that is not the norm,” said Mary Markham, Biology Teacher at Chassell High School. “As long as you can do a lab or any kind of outdoor activities, especially if the weather is nice enough, it’s great.”

Michigan Tech will be visiting Houghton and Ontonagon High Schools next on Thursday.