Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Learning about the Respiratory system


We have been learning about the respiratory system in Science and doing a few experiments to understand how our lungs works.  We have been watching videos and reading books about the respiratory system and then spent some time completing experiments.

First we tried to understand how much air our lungs can actually hold and we recreated a experiment we saw on the Bill Nye videos.  What a mess it made!  So we tried it again using bigger bottles.  First up is the Bill Nye version!
Fill up a large bowl of water
Add a mason jar to the bowl filling it up with water from the bowl and standing it upright as the picture above shows

Insert a tube under the mason jar and the the top of the jar or just above the water found in the jar



Have the kids blow into the tube and watch what happens

All the water from the mason jar disappears filling up with air expelled from the lungs!  You may want to do this in a sink as we had massive water spillage from this experiment!  Both kids were able to easily completely empty the mason jar of the water


SO we tried it a different way to see if we could get better results.  This time we went outside just in case we had water spillage again:)

fill a bucket half way with water

fill a 2 liter bottle full of water

add the bottle upside down in the bucket

unscrew the cap while it is underwater to reduce water  escaping

add a tube through the bottle opening 

and blow.  MarioFan was able to empty the bottle about 3/4 of the way while Firedrake and I could completely empty the bottle of water.  We theorized why that might be the case 


If the above experiment is too messy then another way to look at how much your lungs hold is the following:
each child is given a balloon that has never been used before and asked to take a deep breath and blow up the balloon until they can't breathe...then the balloon's circumference is measured.  This is done three times and then average out

we discussed the results Firedrake and I had nearly identical measurements while MarioFan was lower. The kids hypothesized that a more athletic person might have better results than we did due to their lungs beings more efficient with the oxygen

 Next the children made some fake lungs to get a better understanding of how the diaphragm works
While one child constructed a single lung...there are many direction that can be found on the web 

The other child constructed a different model representing two lungs...again you can find many directions on the web for this build

Both kids experimented with their lungs looking closely at how the diaphragm is used to help with inhaling and exhaling 


Next we look at our human model of the lungs examining where the various parts are located

Then I got out the Sheeps pluck that I purchased which is sheep trachea, heart and lungs
We have had very good luck getting organs from homeschool science tools website

We examined the trachea 

examining the cartilage tissue that forms the trachea.  The kids were disappointed that  on our specimen we could not find the epiglottis. 

After removing the trachea we found the Bronchus  entering the lungs 

Cutting the lungs in half and we saw how the bronchi branch off into the many smaller branches of bronchus 
Labeling our specimen to show Dad what we had learned...kids labeled so excuse the spelling mistakes:)

My husband being schooled in anatomy--he doesn't particularly enjoy coming home to our dissections but is a good sport with the kids 

This is how he really feels, LOL

This completes our lesson on the respiratory system and we are moving on to learn about the digestive system!