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Nov. 9, 2012

MSU professors take physiology lessons to local high school

A pair of Michigan State University professors will visit Lumen Christi High School in nearby Jackson Nov. 12 to teach students some basic physiology and stoke their interest in science and technology.

Susan Barman and Stephanie Watts, professors in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, will spend the day with students as part of Physiology Understanding Week – or PhUn Week – sponsored by the American Physiology Society.

“I am really excited to share my knowledge about physiology with young people who might be the next generation of biomedical scientists,” said Barman, who also is the society’s president. “We hope more students will become interested in physiology and pursue a career in a related discipline.”

This is the third year Barman and Watts have visited Nancy Lefere’s anatomy and physiology class as part of PhUn Week, a nationwide outreach effort to build connections between scientists and their local schools, and to encourage students to pursue careers in science.

“It also creates a relationship between local teachers and scientists, and the collaboration usually becomes ongoing,” said Watts, assistant dean in the Graduate School at MSU.

The professors will use hands-on activities to teach students about how their bodies function, including a session on how caffeinated drinks can affect their blood pressure and heart rate. They also will explain how scientists design experiments.

By: Andy McGlashen