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Health in Your World

Human-Body Experiments

You can do these experiments at the computer in the classroom or at home.
You will need: Pencil and paper to write down your results and conclusions.

Your Bones & Muscles

An experiment about... your bones and muscles!

 

Think it.

Try it.

Muscles and bones provide the framework for your body. Most anything you do, including running, chewing, and standing require muscles, which move your bones. Even talking requires muscle—the tongue. So does reading—the movement of your head and eyes.

Materials: 

  • Open space for exercise

  • Pencil and paper

   1. Do as many push-ups as you can.

     Write down:

How many push-ups did you do?

Which muscles got tired?


What do you think made your muscles hurt or “burn”?

 

​   2. Stand up straight and then squat down, bending at the knees. Do this as many times as you can.

     Write down:

How many squats did you do?

Which muscles got tired?


What do you think made your muscles hurt or “burn”?

Explore it!

Your Heart & Circulation

An experiment about... your heart and circulatory system!

 

Think it.

There are about 5 liters of blood constantly circulating through your body due to the pumping action of your heart. Blood is transported throughout your entire body in blood vessels, like arteries and veins, of different sizes. The circulation of blood and the way it provides oxygen to your body is what makes up the circulatory system.

Materials: 

  • Timer

  • Open space for exercise

  • Pencil and paper

Try it.

1. Sitting quietly, find your pulse with the fingers of your right hand on the underside of your left wrist. (or on the side of your neck, the vessels of your foot, or your temples.)
     Why do you think you can feel your pulse in so many different places?

2. Count how many times your pulse beats in 30 seconds. Write the number down.

3. Now, do a few jumping jacks.

4. Immediately check your pulse again and write down the number of times it is now beating in 30 seconds

5. Was your pulse rate different when you checked it the second time? Can you explain this?

6. Quietly check your pulse a few more times. How long does it take for the pulse rate to return to what it was when you started the experiment?

Explore it!

Your Senses & Nervous System

An experiment about... your senses and nervous system!

 

Think it.

Sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste are what allow you to experience life and create memories of what you've encountered. These senses are part of a larger system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The senses are responsible for receiving information from the world, but it's the brain that gives it all meaning.

Materials: 

  • Open space for two people to stand

  • A 12 inch ruler

  • A friend

Try it.

  1. Extend your arm with your thumb and index finger separated, as if to pinch something.

  2. Ask your friend to hold the ruler vertically just above your hand. Your friend should drop the ruler between your fingers without warning.

  3. Try to catch the ruler as fast as you can. How are your senses and nervous system working together to react?


Did you catch the ruler the first time or did it take several tries? Did you get better with practice?
What do you think about the results of your experiment?

Explore it!

Your Lungs & Respiratory System

An experiment about...your lungs and respiratory system!

 

Think it.

The cells that make up your body require oxygen in order to reproduce, turn food into energy, and simply to live. How do you get oxygen? When you breathe, your blood carries oxygen from the air to all parts of the body. Breathing requires the coordinated contraction and relaxation of muscles to force air in to and out of your trachea (windpipe) and lungs.

Materials: 

  • Open space for exercise

  • A drinking straw

Try it.

  1. Run in place for 30 seconds.

  2. Next, place the straw in your mouth. While plugging your nose and breathing through the straw run in place for 30 seconds.

  3. Compare the two sets of exercises. Did the straw make it easier or harder to breathe?

Explore it!

Your Digestive System

An experiment about...your digestive system!

 

Think it.

Try it.

Explore it!

Your mouth, esophagus, stomach and intestines are connected to form a tube called the digestive tract. These organs, among others, are responsible for the break down and absorption of food. Each organ plays a specific role in converting what you eat into energy your body can use to jump, swing, smile and study.

Materials: 

  • Saltine Cracker

  1. Break the cracker into two pieces.

  2. Eat one piece as you normally would. What does it taste like?

  3. Suck on the second piece for 30 seconds without swallowing. What does it taste like?

Your Immune System

An experiment about...your immune system!

 

Think it.

Inside your body you have an amazing mechanism called the immune system, which is responsible for protecting your 100 trillion cells. Learning about this system will help you to stay healthy and to understand what goes on in your body when you get sick.

Materials:

  • 2 potatoes

  • Vegetable peeler

  • 2 clean jars with lids

  • Soap and water

Try it.

  1. With unwashed hands peel one potato. Place it inside a jar and seal with the lid.

  2. Wash your hands with soap and water. Peel the second potato and place in the second jar and seal with the lid.

  3. Store the jars in the same place.

  4. Check every day for growth on the potatoes. Is there a difference?

Explore it!

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