Hello world! This is Ms. Tarana, reporting live from Carter G. Woodson South School! I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting and working with 15 wonderful girls from 5th-8th grade during this past month. We’ve had gotten to know one another as well as bond over science. As a group we’ve come up with a code of conduct as known as our “Sisterly Act”, as well as get our brains working with a few experiments.
The highlight experiment this month was making a replica of a lung! Before we did this hands-on activity, I asked the girls to come up with some questions about the lung that we can discuss the next program period. Some of the sisters asked, “How many lungs do we have?”, and “how does our lungs differ from that of animals”. With those questions and others that were given we all left program excited, anticipating our next program session!
The following week, when we met, we got right to work. I explained how the lungs were a part of the respiratory system and how our breathing worked on a general scale. Our items we used were a water bottle (rib cage), 2 balloons (one was a representation of the lung and the other was for the diaphragm), a straw (trachea or the wind pipe) along with molding clay, tape and scissors. As we built the “lung” together some girls were having a little trouble with their end result. If you were to duplicate the experiment the suggested end result should be pulling on the balloon at the end of the water bottle “the diaphragm” and the balloon inside the water bottle should expand. Some of the students were having trouble getting the balloons (diaphragm and lungs) to expand. Luckily, I had one student, Kyleigh, really get the hang of things and gave her a chance to show off her ‘respiratory system’ to the group. As we watched she was blowing in her straw to make the balloon expand. She explained, “My diaphragm has a small hole in it so it’s not air tight. I think that’s why it’s not working”. As I reaffirmed her findings, she continued, “So I started blowing into the straw to make the balloon inside expand”. She then went on to say if she could use duct tape to cover the hole it may work. Just like a doctor would repair a lung with a medical patch! So all my eager beavers started asking for duct tape but of course we ran out of time. Just when we started to get the ball rolling. “I love building and learning about the body” said Anise. “Can we build a heart next week”, asked Osiana. I cannot say this enough, I LOVE when they want to continue and explore. They’re asking questions and wanting to know more. I LOVE this. Until next time.
Written By: Tarana Wroten