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How the U.S. Lets Hot School Days Sabotage Learning

Human bodies react swiftly when they overheat. Blood rushes to the skin, trying to find cool air. Sweat seeps out of the skin and evaporates, dissipating body heat. But these processes have a cost: they reduce blood circulation, which means our most important organ, the brain, gets less blood.

“And with reduced brain blood flow, we have reduced brain function,” said Tony Wolf, a researcher at Penn State University who studies how the body reacts to heat. In short, heat can lower our cognition.

But it doesn’t take a PhD to know this. Just ask middle school students.

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