Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week

Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week



Jenna Sorensen



Physiology Understanding Week (PhUn Week) is a nationwide outreach program. Beginning in 2005 as a small-scale pilot program launched by the American Physiological Society (APS) in four states, PhUn Week has steadily expanded to connect thousands of scientists and local school children every year. During the pilot phase, the theme focused on the physiology of exercise and fitness, with students looking at heart rate respiration, muscle contractions, and the cardiovascular system. PhUn Week fosters partnerships between researchers and K-12 teachers and students and brings increased representation to the field of physiology. It was designed with the goals of increasing student interest in and understanding of physiology, increasing teacher recognition of physiology in their science curriculum, and introducing students to possible careers in physiology. We want to foster curiosity in students and give them an “inside look” at what research can be about at a university and how important physiology is to all of us.The theme for this year’s PhUn Week is stress, specifically looking at the nervous system and stress (while still broadly introducing other systems to the students). As stress and components of the nervous system can be difficult concept for young students to grasp, we are taking an integrative approach to discuss the anatomy and physiology of sympathetic engagement in the nervous system, explain how diet and exercise can stress this system, and explore factors that can positively and negatively impact psychological stress.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Anne R. Crecelius

Primary Advisor's Department

Health and Sport Science


Stander Symposium project, School of Education and Health Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Good Health and Well-Being; Quality Education

Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week