Fifth Grade STEAM – Studying Lung Capacity, Pulse Rate, and the Human Heart

[Ms. Jay’s Fifth grade class recently did some exciting STEAM activities.  Here is what Ms. Jay had to say about it.]


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On Friday January 11, 2013 the fifth grade students had a fun time doing three different STEAM activities. There were three different science stations set up in the classroom for students to rotate through in groups. The students had to figure out, in their preset groups, what each stations supplies would be used for. They were given three titles : What is your lung capacity?,  What is your pulse rate?, and How fast does your heart pump blood? They had to figure out each stations title by making predictions about the supplies used at each station. After predictions and discussions students rotated between each station and performed the activities.


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At the station, What is your lung capacity?, the students had to dip the end of their straws into a bubble solution. Then they had to place that end of the straw onto the plastic on the table. In one breath the student had to blow a bubble as big as he or she could. Afterwards the student popped the bubble and measured the diameter in cm and convert it into liters. This would give them their lung capacity.

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At the station, What is your pulse rate?, the students had a two inch piece of straw and inserted just a little into a ball of clay. They placed the ball on their wrist and observed the straw moving to their heart rate. The students were to use a watch to count their pulse rate  for one minute.


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At the station, How fast does your heart pump blood?, the students had two deep dish pans — one filled with water and one empty. They had a 1 cup measuring cup. The students one at a time transferred water, using the measuring cup, from one pan to the other while being timed for one minute. Another student counted how many scoops they transferred during the allotted time. The students figured out their heart pumped blood extremely fast. The most a student could transfer was 44 cups in a minute.

The students had to record their observations and results from each station in their science journals. Then as a class the students shared their results.


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