The American Physiological Society Press Release

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APS Contact: Stacy Brooks


Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @APSPhysiology

Physiology Understanding Week 2014 Brings ‘PhUn’ to K–12 Students Across the U.S.

Bethesda, Md. (November 3, 2014)—Getting kids interested in the study of physiology is the goal of Physiology Understanding Week (PhUn Week), the annual K–12 outreach program coordinated by the American Physiological Society (APS). Physiologists across the country will visit classrooms to lead students in interactive activities that demonstrate how their bodies function and teach how medical discoveries are made. The focus of PhUn Week 2014, which runs November 3–7, is the physiology of exercise and health. Now in its ninth year, PhUn Week is expected to reach more than 12,000 students nationwide.

Physiology is the study of how the human body works under normal conditions. It’s a vast scientific discipline that touches nearly every aspect of daily life, including exercising, reading, breathing, eating, sleeping, moving or doing just about anything. Studying physiology from a book can help increase knowledge, but hands-on experimentation can often make a more lasting and meaningful impression, especially for younger students just becoming familiar with the discipline. This year, students will be challenged by fun and informative experiments—such as how the cardiovascular and muscular systems (including their own hearts and muscles) react to exercise or how much air their lungs can hold.

PhUn Week 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. 2013 was a huge success, with 62 APS members coordinating 478 scientists and partnering with more than 14,000 students and 263 classroom teachers and educators at 83 event sites across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

For more information or to learn about local PhUn Week activities, contact the APS Education Office (301-634-7228;

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.