Monday, February 10, 2014

Science Update

We are on a quest to learn about all the systems of the human body. So far we have discussed the skeletal, muscular, digestive, and circulatory systems. 

The Digestive System

The digestive process begins in our mouths with the aid of our teeth, tongue, and saliva. Ask your scientist about the Ritz cracker experiments. We learned how long food remains in the stomach and how the small intestine is the workhorse of the digestive tract. Students were shocked to see that the small intestine is 21 feet long while the large intestine is 9 feet long. I imagine you heard about the oatmeal / stocking experiment! Students put oatmeal in the top of a leg of ladies' stockings and squeezed it down the leg towards the toe. This exemplified how the large intestine removes the excess water from the chyme. Ask your student about this!

The Circulatory System

The heart, blood vessels, and blood make up our circulatory system. We learned (and laughed) at Bill Nye's video about the circulatory system. Ask your student why we squeezed a tennis ball 70 times in a minute? We are learning about how the heart pumps the blood, what is carried in the blood, and how the blood vessels are a massive transportation system.  Ask your student about the blood we made in class with yellow food coloring for plasma, Cheerios for red blood cells, marshmallows for white blood cells, and  spiky balls for platelets. To better understand the complexities of the heart, we will be thinking about it as "the heart house." Please see the Children's Heart Institute website for more information about this.