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  1. Aileen’s STEAM project is a board game showing the steps of digestion from start to finish: from food being ingested in the mouth all the way through to being excreted through the anus (and don’t forget to flush!). The game breaks down the digestive organs/processes into four separate sections: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, with the liver being a “jail” section where the player might end up and have to perform certain actions to get out. This mirrors the actual process of digestion because lots of nutrients/chemical compounds end up being processed by the liver which can take a lot of extra time and energy! Throughout the digestion process the player draws cards, which might have them ending up spending more or less time in different sections of the digestive tract: for example, drawing a “heartburn” card could mean you lose a turn, which means spending extra time in the “esophagus” section, again reflecting the actual process of digestion where digestive material takes longer to move through the esophageal tract (and can even move in the reverse direction) if the person has issues with gastroesophageal reflux. In the same way, drawing a “probiotic” card might move a player more quickly through one of the intestine sections, just as taking probiotic supplements can aid digestion in the human body. Overall this project was designed as a fun way to help students learn about how food moves through the digestive tract and the different issues it might encounter as it proceeds through the process of digestion.

    Theresa Vertigan

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