Engineering Explorations – Model Lungs

Engineering Explorations – Model Lungs

Our biomedical engineers have just arrived at Summer @ IMSA and they are ready for a challenging task! Today, in Engineering Explorations, the students learned about the anatomy of the heart and lungs and how they function in the human body. Our bioengineers built their own working model of a lung and demonstrated how the diaphragm works based on air pressure differentials. The end goal of the day was to relate the lung model to relevant heart anatomy and physiology.

Ask your student: What is the purpose of the diaphragm in the respiratory system? (Each breath begins with a contraction of a dome-shaped sheet of muscle underneath the lungs called the diaphragm. During inhalation (taking air into your lungs) your diaphragm contracts, or flattens downward, which reduces pressure in the chest cavity. Normal outside air pressure is higher, which forces air through the nose and mouth, down the trachea and into the lungs where pressure is lower (pressure systems move from high to low). On the other hand, upon exhalation your diaphragm relaxes, which increases pressure on the lungs and forcing air, containing carbon dioxide, out of the body.)

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Oceanography – Buoyancy and Water Pressure

Oceanography – Buoyancy and Water Pressure

Today our Ocean Engineers studied two important scientific principles (buoyancy and water pressure) that they can apply toward their upcoming design and build of a prototype submarine that they need to be able to maneuver in the water. Campers explored buoyancy by placing objects with different masses and volumes in a known volume of water and observing what happens to the water displacement. They also investigated water pressure by observing how intense water streams from holes situated at various heights along containers (1L and 2L).

Ask your camper: What factor (mass or volume) impacted the amount of water displacement? (volume). Where was water pressure the highest? (at the bottom of the containers)

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Makey Lab – Fairytale Houses

Makey Lab – Fairytale Houses

The fairytale realm is being bombarded by natural disasters, and they need our campers to help build homes to withstand the new dangers! Today our campers experimented with different materials to see which stayed standing during the disasters. Then campers worked in groups to create building designs to hold up to five natural disasters – avalanche, flash flood, thunderstorm, rock slide, and earthquake.

Ask your camper: Which natural disaster did your group have, and which materials worked best?

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