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Innovative Educator: The Ambrose School students learn to be 'body builders'

Ken Hosier uses mini skeleton models, clay and sculpting tools to teach his students how the body moves.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — Editor's note: This content is sponsored by CapEd Credit Union

Ken Hosier teaches 11th and 12th grade human biology at The Ambrose School in Meridian. He wanted his students to be able to wrap their brains around some pretty complicated coursework on how muscles make the body move.

"I wanted to do something that was a little different," Hosier said. "You're not going to make kids memorize 650 muscle names -- just the basics."

So he taught them how to be "body builders." Not by lifting weights, but by working with mini skeleton models, clay and sculpting materials he bought with a $700 CapEd Credit Union grant.

"Then they could actually sculpt muscles and assemble the muscles and even carve in the little fascicles so they could see the direction of the muscles and understand the action of the muscles," Hosier said.

Fast fact: A fascicle is a bundle of structures, such as muscle fibers. The skeleton key here is that the students can work hands on, in 3-D, to really grasp the concepts.

"You want to make things as tangible for students as possible," Hosier said. "And so you want to look for ways that gets them out of just rote memorization and diving into the content or seeing that applicability of the content."

He says it's really helping them flex their mental muscle, and it's more fun.

"The smiles on the students' faces. It's just amazing to watch them, see that sense of joy as they're trying to carve out the different muscles," Hosier said.

For now, the skeletons are back in Hosier's closet, but he looks forward to pulling them out again for the next round of students to build on their body of knowledge.

"I think all teachers will talk about the 'aha' moments, seeing that light bulb come on for students," Hosier said. "I really like that interaction and to create a sense of wonder in my students because, for me, I feel like when you create that sense of wonder, it leads to wisdom."

It's no wonder why Ken Hosier is an Innovative Educator.

In fact, Mr. Hosier is actually the first teacher to be recognized as an Innovative Educator twice! KTVB featured him in December of 2018 for a lesson he did using mini cars on special tracks to teach his students the physics of car crashes.

If you would like to nominate an Innovative Educator who is going above and beyond, send us an email to innovativeeducator@ktvb.com.

Educators, for information on submitting an application for a classroom grant through the Idaho CapEd Foundation, visit www.capedfoundation.org.

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