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Posted: November 8, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Cousins students learn physiology can be 'PhUn'

Brittany Thomas/

Have a heart: Dr. Otto Froehlich shows his students a real heart from a calf. The presentation was part of Physiology Understanding Week, where students learned more about how the human body functions.

Seventh grade students at Cousins Middle School had the opportunity to experience a little PhUn Thursday afternoon when they were treated to a guest and an interesting science lesson during Physiology Understanding Week.

The Quest science class of Debra Hasan and several students from other science classes attended the presentation by Dr. Otto Froehlich, a professor with Emory University’s School of Medicine. The doctor led the students in hands-on activities in order to learn how the body functions and how medical discoveries are made.

PhUn Week is the annual outreach program coordinated by The American Physiological Society, a scientific organization with 11,000 members founded in 1887. 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.

During the presentation with Froehlich, the students learned about cardiovascular functions by monitoring their own hearts and by viewing the heart of a calf, cut open to reveal its inner workings.

When Froehlich showed the heart around to the students, many of them shied away from the organ and said "ewww."

"Come on, that’s not ewww," he said. "That’s nature and it’s beautiful."

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