-TEACH KIDS HOW FOOD
AFFECTS THEIR BODIES-
Kids love learning about their bodies through this interactive exhibit. Speedway to Healthy is a project of 4-H Youth Development of The Cooperative Extension Program, a division of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T State University.
Photo Credit: N.C. A&T State University - College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
Speedway to Healthy
Take a wild ride through the body with Speedway to Health, an exhibit designed to teach children in grades K-5 what happens to the food we eat. This is a free, traveling exhibit that can be booked anywhere in North Carolina. The exhibit is 1,200 square feet and contains 11 pit stops that represent different body parts. A volunteer gives a 5-minute interactive presentation at each stop as the kids learn how food is processed in our bodies.
Kids line up on the starting line, where they are introduced to MyPlate and given a sticker of a piece of food. They become that food as they enter the body, starting at the brain. Here they learn how the brain functions, and how to keep it healthy. Next, they enter the mouth, where they learn the proper way to brush and floss, and the effect of sugar on their teeth. They then travel through the stomach and into the small intestine, where they (as food) are squeezed into smaller pieces until their nutrients are released.
The kids are now nutrients that travel through the blood stream to be delivered first to the heart, then the lungs. In the lungs they learn what happens when you smoke. After the lungs they travel to the kidneys, where they learn how kidneys flush toxins from our blood. They travel to the bones, muscles, and skin, where they learn the importance of hand washing. They finally exit through a cut in the skin.
Here's how to bring Speedway to Healthy to your community:
Talk with your county's Cooperative Extension Office: A local agent can partner with your school or organization to bring in Speedway to Healthy. If your county's office can't help, you can reach out to the Speedway to Healthy Coordinator through their website.
Identify a Site: Speedway to Healthy must be held in a clean, indoor space. A large room, such as a school gym, works well.
Identify Audience: You need to have at least 300 children in grades K-5 sign up to participate. Children enter the exhibit in groups of eight to 10, so it is best to coordinate a schedule beforehand.
Recruit Volunteers: At least 15 volunteers are needed to set up and take down the exhibit, and 12-24 volunteers are needed each day the exhibit is open. High school students can volunteer during the exhibit, but volunteers must be 18 or older to help with set up or take down.
Make a Reservation: You can reserve the exhibit on the Speedway to Healthy website. You must make the reservation 60-90 days in advance.
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