Teachers and students at Eastlawn Elementary School in Burlington, N.C., spent an afternoon learning about the skeleton and spine safety from students in Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Education Janet Cope's class.
DPT students work with students at Eastlawn Elementary School to figure out where each bone belongs in the body.[/caption]The DPT students began by discussing the health benefits of good nutrition, exercise and physical therapy. After learning about how bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles work together, the kids got a chance to build a life-sized skeleton of their own.
The DPT students also worked with smaller groups of 4-5 kids each to figure out where each bone belongs in the body. “Oohs” and “Ahs” were heard often, as they made the connections and gained firsthand knowledge about how their bones all fit together. For the last part of the session, Eastlawn student volunteers came to the front with their backpacks to weigh in and find out if they are carrying too much on their back. It’s recommended that growing spines shouldn’t carry more than 10-15 percent of total body weight in a backpack.
Many of the DPT students were impressed by the amount of knowledge exhibited by the elementary school students, with Cope noting how the lessons make an impression on the teachers as well. “Hopefully, they take something away from this, too, and can reinforce it throughout the school year.”
If you know of a school that might like to host a future Bones and Backpack session, please contact Dr. Cope at firstname.lastname@example.org.