This unit on metabolic reactions in the human body starts out with students exploring a real case study of a middle-school girl named M’Kenna, who reported some alarming symptoms to her doctor. Her symptoms included an inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach issues when she eats, and a lack of energy for everyday activities and sports that she used to play regularly. She also reported noticeable weight loss over the past few months, in spite of consuming what appeared to be a healthy diet. Her case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out which pathways and processes in M’Kenna’s body might be functioning differently than a healthy system and why.
Students investigate data specific to M’Kenna’s case in the form of doctor’s notes, endoscopy images and reports, growth charts, and micrographs. They also draw from their results from laboratory experiments on the chemical changes involving the processing of food and from digital interactives to explore how food is transported, transformed, stored, and used across different body systems in all people. Through this work of figuring out what is causing M’Kenna’s symptoms, the class discovers what happens to the food we eat after it enters our bodies and how M’Kenna’s different symptoms are connected.
This unit builds towards the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-7, MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning, and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.
Additional Unit InformationNext Generation Science Standards Addressed in this UnitPerformance ExpectationsThis unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs):
Biology is designed for multi-semester biology courses for science majors. It is grounded on an evolutionary basis and includes exciting features that highlight careers in the biological sciences and everyday applications of the concepts at hand. To meet the needs of today’s instructors and students, some content has been strategically condensed while maintaining the overall scope and coverage of traditional texts for this course. Instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom. Biology also includes an innovative art program that incorporates critical thinking and clicker questions to help students understand—and apply—key concepts.
By the end of this section, you will be able to:Discuss the different types of skeletal systemsExplain the role of the human skeletal systemCompare and contrast different skeletal systems
Students are introduced to the circulatory system, the heart, and blood flow in the human body. Through guided pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading activities, students learn about the circulatory system's parts, functions and disorders, as well as engineering medical solutions. By cultivating literacy practices as presented in this lesson, students can improve their scientific and technological literacy.
Throughout the day, your nervous system monitors and makes endless adjustments to your body's basic systems -- all to keep you alive. This interactive feature illustrates the complexity of such a task.
In the Body System Amusement Parks project, students team up to create amusement parks based on the various systems and organs within the human body. With the power of abstraction, each attraction represents the cardiovascular system, the muscular system, the digestive system, etc. Teams create both 3D scale models and presentations to an unnamed wealthy investment firm looking to build a new park in the students’ very own town. This activity was heavily inspired by a post from Danielle Dace.
After learning, comparing and contrasting the steps of the engineering design process (EDP) and scientific method, students review the human skeletal system, including the major bones, bone types, bone functions and bone tissues, as well as other details about bone composition. Students then pair-read an article about bones and bone growth and compile their notes to summarize the article. Finally, students complete a homework assignment to review the major bones in the human body, preparing them for the associated activities in which they create and test prototype replacement bones with appropriate densities. Two PowerPoint(TM) presentations, pre-/post-test, handout and worksheet are provided.
After completing the associated lesson and its first associated activity, students are familiar with the 20 major bones in the human body knowing their locations and relative densities. When those bones break, lose their densities or are destroyed, we look to biomedical engineers to provide replacements. In this activity, student pairs are challenged to choose materials and create prototypes that could replace specific bones. They follow the steps of the engineering design process, researching, brainstorming, prototyping and testing to find bone replacement solutions. Specifically, they focus on identifying substances that when combined into a creative design might provide the same density (and thus strength and support) as their natural counterparts. After iterations to improve their designs, they present their bone alternative solutions to the rest of the class. They refer to the measured and calculated densities for fabricated human bones calculated in the previous activity, and conduct Internet research to learn the densities of given fabrication materials (or measure/calculate those densities if not found online).
Students explore the interrelationship of structure and function in the circulatory system.
Students gain a deeper understanding of how sound sensors work through a hands-on design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT taskbots and sound sensors. Student groups each program a robot computer to use to the sound of hand claps to control the robot's movement. They learn programming skills and logic design in parallel. They experience how robots can take sensor input and use it to make decisions to move and turn, similar to the human sense of hearing. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.
As a class, students work through an example showing how DNA provides the "recipe" for making our body proteins. They see how the pattern of nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) forms the double helix ladder shape of DNA, and serves as the code for the steps required to make genes. They also learn some ways that engineers and scientists are applying their understanding of DNA in our world.
Human digestive system, the system used in the human body for the process of digestion. The human digestive system consists primarily of the digestive tract, or the series of structures and organs through which food and liquids pass during their processing into forms absorbable into the bloodstream. The system also consists of the structures through which wastes pass in the process of elimination and other organs that contribute juices necessary for the digestive process.source: https://www.britannica.com/science/human-digestive-system Students will be able to explain how the body gets the energy needed from the food we eat and get rid of the waste products produced by the process?
The digestive system is amazing: it takes the foods we eat and breaks them into smaller components that our body can use for energy, cell repair and growth. This lesson introduces students to the main parts of the digestive system and how they interact. In addition, students learn about some of the challenges astronauts face when trying to eat in outer space.
Students' understanding of how robotic ultrasonic sensors work is reinforced in a design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and ultrasonic sensors. Student groups program their robots to move freely without bumping into obstacles (toy LEGO people). They practice and learn programming skills and logic design in parallel. They see how robots take input from ultrasonic sensors and use it to make decisions to move, resulting in behavior similar to the human sense of sight but through the use of sound sensors, more like echolocation. Students design-test-redesign-retest to achieve successful programs. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.
In this activity, students are divided into a group of hormones and a group of receptors. The hormones have to find their matching receptors, and the pair, once matched, perform a given action. This activity helps students learn about the specificity of hormone-receptor interactions within the endocrine system.
This unit covers the broad spectrum of topics that make-up our very amazing human body. Students are introduced to the space environment and learn the major differences between the environment on Earth and that of outer space. The engineering challenges that arise because of these discrepancies are also discussed. Then, students dive into the different components that make up the human body: muscles, bones and joints, the digestive and circulatory systems, the nervous and endocrine systems, the urinary system, the respiratory system, and finally the immune system. Students learn about the different types of muscles in the human body and the effects of microgravity on muscles. Also, they learn about the skeleton, the number of and types of bones in the body, and how outer space affects astronauts' bones. In the lessons on the digestive, circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems, students learn how these vital system work and the challenges faced by astronauts whose systems are impacted by spaceflight. And lastly, advances in engineering technology are discussed through the lessons on the urinary, respiratory and immune systems while students learn how these systems work with all the other body components to help keep the human body healthy.
This lesson describes the major components and functions of the immune system and the role of engineers in keeping the body healthy (e.g., vaccinations and antibiotics, among other things). This lesson also discusses how an astronaut's immune system is suppressed during spaceflight due to stress and other environmental factors.
Students' understanding of how robotic light sensors work is reinforced in a design challenge involving LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots and light sensors. Working in pairs, students program LEGO robots to follow a flashlight as its light beam moves around. Students practice and learn programming skills and logic design in parallel. They see how robots take input from light sensors and use it to make decisions to move, similar to the human sense of sight. Students also see how they perform the steps of the engineering design process in the course of designing and testing to achieve a successful program. A PowerPoint® presentation and pre/post quizzes are provided.
Students will construct a model of a cell in order to identify organelles and their function as they build an understanding of the increasing complexity of tissues, organs, organ systems, and organisms.