The PowerPlay exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston is designed to encourage students to become more active and learn about their bodies’ health. This video covers the exhibit basics and will help you prepare your class for a visit.
Learn how students use their Kid Cards to track their progress through the PowerPlay exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston.
This video explains the Power Tower, the tallest part of the PowerPlay exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Students are able to plot their own way through this exciting vertical climbing structure.
Students can really get their hearts pumping in the Dance Mania area of the PowerPlay exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Houston.
Students push their limits and discover how their bodies react to a variety of physical challenges in PowerPlay! This monumental, three-story installation lets students leap up and down different levels of a forty-foot tower that provides access to other areas of the exhibit.
Physical challenges include cardiovascular, balance, flexibility, and upper and lower body strength activities. Students can take it to the next level by tracking their heart rates and strength improvements, rating their experiences, and comparing performances—like real fitness athletes!
The lessons and resources presented here can be used before and after your students visit the Children's Museum of Houston. Even if you are unable to visit the Museum, these activities can be used in any classroom to explore health and fitness topics with students. Five activities are designed to be conducted prior to visiting the museum, and five after the museum visit.
Ideas for Teachers Without Access to the Museum
Plan a special "field day" at your school. Prior to the event, conduct the Pre-visit lessons. After the event, use the Post-visit lessons.
Create a classroom fitness plan that provides one month of activities. Help students plan a calendar with different fitness activities for each day.
Participate in the President's Challenge Program for fitness.
The PowerPlay exhibit was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), from the National Institutes of Health, and is a partnership among Baylor College of Medicine and the Children's Museum of Houston.
PowerPlay: Fitness and Physical Activity
PowerPlay fitness lessons promote student understanding, positive attitudes, and healthy behaviors related to physical activity and diet.
Activity and Exercise
Students jump over a rope in different ways and measure their performance over time. They also predict their levels of “perceived exertion” during physical exercise.View this lesson Download PDF
Students learn that muscles need exercise to stay strong, repetition of exercises builds strength and endurance, and that different activities improve cardiovascular health, strength, flexibility and balance.View this lesson Download PDF
Heart Rate and Exercise
Students measure their prior to conducting a variety of physical activities. After conducting the activities, they measure and compare their post-exercise heart rates to their resting heart rates.View this lesson Download PDF
Gravity and Muscles
Students learn about the body’s center of gravity, and how the body adjusts to the force of gravity to remain balanced.View this lesson Download PDF
Walk the Talk
Students learn that physical and mental activities can be improved with practice by repeatedly walking while reciting a poem.View this lesson Download PDF
Human Body Ratios
Students practice estimating and measuring in metric units, and investigate the concepts of ratio and proportion as they relate to features of the human body.View this lesson Download PDF
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Students investigate how Body Mass Index (BMI) values are calculated, and how the information can be used in research.View this lesson Download PDF
Water in Your Body
Students learn how much water our bodies need each day, how it is lost, and that the water we lose must be replaced.View this lesson Download PDF
Food: What Is a Calorie?
Students learn that people derive their energy from the food that they eat; that this energy is measured in a unit called a calorie; and that different foods provide different amounts of energy.View this lesson Download PDF
Bone Loss with Space Exploration
Susan A. Bloomfield, PhD, FACSM, speaks about bone structure and different kinds of bone, the causes of bone loss during space exploration, and strategies for slowing or counterbalancing the process of bone loss, in space and on Earth.
Maintaining Muscle Mass in Space
Kenneth M. Baldwin, PhD, explains how and why muscles change during spaceflight, why this is important, and what can we do to limit muscle atrophy in space and on Earth.Video Digital Slide Set
Staying Fit in Space (podcast)
Benjamin D. Levine, MD, researches exercise programs to learn how astronauts can maintain fitness while living and working in microgravity (podcast with lessons and more).
Grant Number: R25RR022697