Your body does a tremendous number of things all the time. You’re going to learn about your skeleton, bone joints, muscle tension, blood cells, lungs, ears, and eyes! Some of the experiments you’ll be creating include: a working lung model so you can see how pressure differences affect the lungs and diaphragm; a robotic hand model with real tendons; working eye model which you can adapt for near- and farsighted conditions; how to do chemical fingerprinting… and so much more!
We will go over integumentary, skeletal, and muscular systems by beginning with a general overview of the body. We’ll also learn about what we should eat and discover what happens to food once we swallow it. Another system we’ll cover is the respiratory system, which is responsible for providing your organs with the oxygen they need and removing the carbon dioxide they don’t. Speaking of things your body doesn’t need, our next topic will be the excretory system, the one responsible for getting rid of all waste from the body. We’ll talk about how your body allows you to do all the things you do. In order to do those things, your body must stay healthy, and keeping you healthy is the job of the immune system.
Here are the scientific concepts:
- An inherited trait can be determined by one or more genes.
- The sequential steps of digestion, and the roles of teeth and mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and colon in the function of the digestive system.
- Organ systems function because of the contributions of individual organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can affect the entire system.
- How bones and muscles work together to provide a structural framework for movement.
- How to relate the structures of the eye and ear to their functions.
- How to compare joints in the body (wrist, shoulder, thigh) with structures used in machines and simple devices (hinge, ball-and-socket, and sliding joints).
- How blood circulates through the heart chambers, lungs, and body, and how carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) are exchanged in the lungs and tissues.
- How levers confer mechanical advantage and how the application of this principle applies to the musculoskeletal system.
- How kidneys remove cellular waste from blood and convert it into urine, which is stored in the bladder.
- Contractions of the heart generate blood pressure, and heart valves prevent backflow of blood in the circulatory system.
- How the five senses (sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch) work together.
- The energy released [from] food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter.
- Food provides animals with the materials they need for body repair and growth and the energy they need to maintain body warmth and for motion.
- Plants acquire their material for growth chiefly from air and water.
- The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants or plants parts and animals) and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem.
- Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Organisms obtain gases, and water, from the environment, and release waste matter (gas, liquid, or solid) back into the environment.
By the end of the labs in this unit, students will be able to:
- Design and build a working robotic hand by understanding how tendons work to create movement.
- Know how to demonstrate how the eye works, and demonstrate common eye problems.
- Understand how to determine lung capacity, monitor heart rate, and several other measurable functions of the body.
- Demonstrate how the body can be modeled by simple machines and joint models.
- Differentiate observation from inference (interpretation) and know scientists’ explanations come partly from what they observe and partly from how they interpret their observations.
- Measure and estimate the weight, length and volume of objects.
- Formulate and justify predictions based on cause-and-effect relationships.
- Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction and draw conclusions about the relationships between predictions and results.
- Construct and interpret graphs from measurements.
- Follow a set of written instructions for a scientific investigation.