They didn't leave the school campus, but students from Couch School traveled the path from the farmer's field to the playing field when the University of Missouri, Oregon County Extension Office presented its Food Power Adventure on Sept. 27. Food Power Adventure is an interactive exhibit presented at several stations.
The popular traveling exhibit gives students an inside look at how the body turns food into energy. During the exhibit, students learned answers to questions like, "Where does food come from?" and "How does it give me energy to help me grow?"
Couch high school students volunteered to help teach the information to elementary and junior high classes. The volunteers were given the information beforehand, so they could prepare to engage their younger peers.
Students began at the "pizza farm," where they learned where farmers grow ingredients like wheat and tomatoes. The next exhibit displayed food packaging and labeling information. The students inspected labels on milk cartons to learn about the nutrional facts they contain. The students were then able to make healthy food selections at the cafeteria exhibit. The final exhibit, the digestive system, was inside a tent where students were able to change their food into power they tested at muscle and bone stations.
"Food Power Adventure is the kind of active learning experience students need to help them see how the food they choose gives them the energy they need to play and grow," Nutrition Program Associate, Brandi Sutherland said. "In addition to being a fun way for kids to learn about nutrition, the school is also meeting its wellness policy goals and state education standards."
The students who volunteered to present the exhibits had as good a time as those who participated. "The volunteers did an incredible job, not only teaching at the stations, but they helped set-up and disassemble the exhibit," said Sutherland.
The Food Power Adventure was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Hunter's Choice Gunsmithing of Alton. The traveling program is periodically presented to all the schools in Oregon County.