BodyTrek comes to FOES

Soren WIlliams, Andrew Martin and Charles Pohlman wait for their turn to tour the BodyTrek mobile museum on March 25. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Soren WIlliams, Andrew Martin and Charles Pohlman wait for their turn to tour the BodyTrek mobile museum on March 25. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

CHELSEA—This month, Forest Oaks Elementary School students get the chance to explore the workings of the human body and learn to stay healthy through BodyTrek, an interactive museum on wheels.

Sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama and Children’s of Alabama, BodyTrek teaches children about the five senses, heart, lungs, skin and brain through interactive exhibits and activity stations.

The mobile museum also focuses on health and safety, from the importance of protecting your body by fastening seatbelts and wearing bike helmets to avoiding sickness through good nutrition and washing hands.

“When we developed this program in 1993, our goal was to decrease injury and death in the pediatric population,” Marilyn Prier, director of the comprehensive health education center at Children’s Hospital, said.

Students, led by a volunteer trained by Prier, tour the museum in groups of three. The museum is designed for children from kindergarten through fifth grade.

“We go anywhere we can get to within a 55-mile radius of Children’s,” Prier said, noting schools can request a visit from the BodyTrek “roving museum,” however the wait time for a visit can be up to four years.

“We’re very fortunate and blessed to be one of the schools chosen to host the Body Trek unit,” Forest Oaks Assistant Principal Stevi Sims said. “It enables them the experience to make positive health choices and to learn about safety as well.”

BodyTrek arrived at Forest Oaks Elementary School on March 17, and will stay at the school through April 17.