OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology

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Can It Support You? No Bones about It!

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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).

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Jeanne Hubelbank, Kristen Billiar, Michelle Gallagher, Terri Camesano

Cold Sensors

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Why can you feel cold even when you're sitting in a warm room? Scientists may have discovered the answer. This Science Update explores the neurological components of the senses warmth and cold.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lecture

Hearing: How Do Our Ears Work?

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Students learn about the anatomy of the ear and how the ears work as a sound sensor. Ear anatomy parts and structures are explained in detail, as well as how sound is transmitted mechanically and then electrically through them to the brain. Students use LEGO® robots with sound sensors to measure sound intensities, learning how the NXT brick (computer) converts the intensity of sound measured by the sensor input into a number that transmits to a screen. They build on their experiences from the previous activities and establish a rich understanding of the sound sensor and its relationship to the TaskBot's computer.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Charlie Franklin, Marianne Catanho, Sachin Nair, Satish Nair

Nervous System

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This learning strategy provides discussion and visualizations of the neuron and its function, as well as components and functions of different parts of the nervous system, including the human brain.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Jim Bidlack

Our Amazing Skeleton

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This lesson covers the topic of human bones and joints. Students learn about the skeleton, the number of and types of bones in the body, and how outer space affects astronauts' bones. Students also learn how to take care of their bones here on Earth to prevent osteoporosis or weakening of the bones.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Authors: Abigail Watrous, Denali Lander, Janet Yowell, Jessica Todd, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Sara Born

Pupil

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In this activity, learners explore their eye pupils and how they change. Learners use a magnifying glass, mirror, and flashlight to observe how their pupil changes size in response to changes in lighting. Learners also experiment to determine how light shining in one eye affects the size of the pupil in their other eye. This resource guide includes background information about pupils and why they change as well as information related to emotional stimuli, involuntary reflexes, and photography.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Pupillary Response & Test Your Reaction Time

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Students observe and test their reflexes, including the (involuntary) pupillary response and (voluntary) reaction times using their dominant and non-dominant hands, as a way to further explore how reflexes occur in humans. They gain insights into how our bodies react to stimuli, and how some reactions and body movements are controlled automatically, without conscious thought. Using information from the associated lesson about how robots react to situations, including the stimulus-to-response framework, students see how engineers use human reflexes as examples for controls for robots.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Charlie Franklin, Marianne Catanho, Sachin Nair, Satish Nair