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Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Friday, April 22, 2016

Respiratory STEM: Constructing Lung Models

We wanted to make the human body more interactive and more STEM based. I think all of us have seen the lung bottle made out of a water bottle, balloon, and straw, right? Rather than presenting the model to the students and have them identify the parts, I decided to challenge my students to building a working lung model. The problem they were provided was to inflate a balloon inside of a bottle without touching the balloon directly.

We spent a little time planning after they had read about the respiratory system. I gave them two days for construction. The first day, many students were trying to simply place a balloon in the bottle, attached to a straw. They thought it would be as simple as blowing in the straw. Boy, were they surprised!

I encouraged my students to think about how their bodies work, hoping they would think of the diaphragm. The picture below were the top contenders from each class. It was so cool to see their creativity and to help them conceptualize the respiratory system.

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