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Science project offers hands-on experience for Oklahoma students

The Junkyard Digestion project offered Putnam City students a chance to design a functioning digestive system
Oklahoman Modified: March 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm •  Published: March 5, 2014

Sometimes science projects are hard for even the best students to stomach, and that’s the case with Benton Shriver’s human physiology class at Putnam City High School.

The students built a working digestive system as part of a Junkyard Digestion unit. The rules are simple: Students must construct a digestive system from household items.

“They are not allowed to buy anything,” Shriver said. “They have to write a proposal, and I have to approve it before we begin. Then they feed it a meal, and it has to produce an end product.”

The project was designed by Putnam City Principal Diana Lebseck in 2002. This is the first year students in Shriver’s class have used it to study the workings of the human digestive system.

“It’s more fun and it’s less paperwork,” junior Johnny Sexton said. “We have a diagram of how everything works as far as the digestive system that we work from, but I think it’s easier to learn by doing things.”

Sexton feeds a mixture of bread, carrots and bananas into his team’s Dwayne “The Box” Johnson, a stack of boxes containing the inner workings of their project. A University of Oklahoma hat and boots complete the project’s look. After some struggles, the byproduct begins to come out of the bottom of the project.

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by Matt Patterson
Reporter
Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun....
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