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The Kidzeum exhibit 1 for 2011-2012 "Stuffee Stays Healthy"



As students at Grenada Elementary School enter The Kidzeum for their first visit this school year, they are donning lab coats like a doctor might wear and helping Stuffee, The Kidzeum mascot, visit the doctor. Stuffee is returning to school just like the children, and needs to visit the doctor for a healthy check-up. Thanks to Grenada Lake Medical Center, Stuffee is able to sit on an examination table while the “doctors” examine him in "The Kidzeum Clinic".

While visiting the clinic, students in grades K-3 participate in hands-on activities to learn that they don't have to be afraid to go to the doctor. Students also learn steps to good health and the importance of a healthy check-up. These future doctors and nurses use real instruments that a doctor might use in a clinic to check their eyes and throats, then examine healthy and unhealthy bacteria through microscopes. Sunny Logan, a second grader in Mrs. Mann 's classroom, stated that she is going to be a doctor when she gets big enough.

Several local doctors and dentists are contributing their time to answer questions in the hallway outside the Kidzeum as the children walk to their classrooms. This Kidzeum exhibit stresses the importance of going to the doctor. Beth Muselwhite, the new director of the Kidzeum, hopes that if the children of GES recognize some of our local doctors and dentists they might feel more comfortable going for a healthy check-up.

Future visits to the Kidzeum Clinic will include taking Stuffee to visit the dentist and helping him learn to choose healthy foods. The children will be able to sit in a real dentist chair, thanks to Dr. David Braswell, who has donated two of his dental chairs to The Kidzeum.

During the dental portion of the exhibit, students will participate in different science experiments. One of the experiments uses eggs and vinegar to simulate how tooth enamel might become soft and decay if we don't brush often. The students will also identify healthy and unhealthy foods and which foods are good or bad for our teeth. Thanks to dentists Dr. David Braswell and Dr. Harvey Leslie, the students at GES will receive their very own toothbrush and toothpaste as they leave the exhibit.

On their last visit, the children will shop in The Kidzeum grocery and go through a simulated cafeteria line to learn which foods Stuffee might choose to complete a healthy meal. The children will learn that for Stuffee to remain active and continue the fun games that he likes to play, he must not choose unhealthy foods. Choosing healthy foods will keep his heart and body in shape to let him keep having fun! During this visit, students will also help Stuffee pack his lunch box for school and identify different foods by placing them in healthy and unhealthy categories.

To help the children get a realistic "feel" if Stuffee chooses unhealthy foods to eat, each child will add a few extra pounds of weight to his/her body. In this hands-on activity, the children will wear an apron with two pounds of dry beans sewn inside while completing a few jumping jacks. The students will find out which would be easier for Stuffee to continue his fun activities ~ without extra weight on his body from eating healthy foods, or with extra weight from eating unhealthy foods.

As fall nears, the Kidzeum will display items that teachers at GES might use about Johnny Appleseed. The smell of apple pies and apple turnovers will drift through GES as K-3 classes use the Kidzeum kitchen as a teaching/cooking lab during this season.

After the first exhibit is taken down in October, the Kidzeum teachers will prepare for Christmas in Brazil. Each year, the Kidzeum celebrates the Christmas season with an exhibit showcasing traditions from another country. Students in grades K-3 will learn why it is warm in Brazil and cold in parts of the USA in December, as well as how Christmas is celebrated there.

The Kidzeum is a unique part of GES that uses hands-on activities to encourage children to delve into learning. Muselwhite is excited about the new year and the opportunities the Kidzeum offers to the children of GES. She also encourages parents to ask their children about what they learned during their time at the Kidzeum. Parents who wish to experience the Kidzeum should look for opportunities during the year when the Kidzeum is open to visitors such as Grandparent’s Day and Open House.
photo of Stephanie Raper
Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor