Outreach Workshop: Human Body
Not a single machine ever designed can hold a candle up to the complexity and elegance of the human body. In this workshop, students will learn all about how this complex machine actually works.
$300 - Includes two 50-minute workshops. Additional workshops $125 each.
Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, Science v.1.09
- Share ideas about science through purposeful conversation. (S.IA.02.12)
- Identify characteristics (for example: body coverings, beak shape, number of legs, body parts) that are passed on from parents to young. (L.HE.01.11)
- Identify and compare structures in animals used for controlling body temperature, support, movement, food-getting, and protection (for example: fur, wings, teeth, scales). (L.OL.03.32)
- Classify animals on the basis of observable physical characteristics (backbone, body coverings, limbs). (L.OL.03.42)
Human Body Pre-visit Vocabulary
Alveoli: Small sacks in the lungs that increase the lung’s surface area.
Artery: Blood vessel pumping away from the heart.
Blood Vessel: Tubing through which blood flows.
Body System: A group of organs working together to perform a specific task.
Cell: The most basic living structure in any organism.
Circulatory System: Blood. Responsible for the movement of food, oxygen and wastes throughout the body, often via blood.
Diaphragm: A muscle below the rib cage which aids in respiration.
Digestive System: Food. Responsible for the breakdown of food and the absorption of nutrients.
Esophagus: Tube through which food travels on the way to the stomach.
Large Intestine: Part of the digestive track where water is absorbed into the body.
Muscular System: Movement. Responsible for movement.
Nervous System: Nerves. Responsible for relaying messages to and from the brain and spinal cord.
Organ: A distinct structure in your body made up of one type of tissue with a specific function.
Organism: A form of life (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, etc.)
Respiratory System: Breathing. Responsible for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen with the atmosphere.
Skeletal System: Structure. Responsible for support, protection, movement, blood making and mineral storage.
Small Intestine: Longest part of the digestive system where nutrients are absorbed into the blood.
Vein: Blood vessel pumping towards the heart.
Human Body Post-visit Activity
Post-visit activities provide your students with an opportunity to review workshop-presented concepts and introduce related subjects. Below you will find a classroom extension activity and a list of suggested resources for further exploration. We hope that you enjoyed our Outreach Hands-On Workshop and we look forward to visiting your students again!
Extend your Hands-On Workshop experience into other areas of your curriculum by trying one or more of the following ideas!
- Stand in a doorframe with your arms at your side. Lift your hands to where they are in contact with the doorframe. Keep pushing up for a full 30 seconds with all your might. Then, step forward and let your arms loose.
- First, make sure the room around is clear of chairs and tables. Then, have a partner spin in a circle for 20 seconds. As soon as they stop, look directly into their eyes.
- Find an open place on a wall (perhaps in the hallway). Place the side of your right foot flush against the wall. Now, attempt to pick up your left foot without falling over or grabbing onto anything.
In the first activity, you should have noticed that your arms felt really light and seemed to float up into the air. This is because your muscles have been tensed, or flexed, for the last 30 seconds. Your brain has been telling your muscles to stay flexed, even if you wanted to relax. When you step out of the doorframe, your brain and body need a little bit of time to adjust. During this time, you brain is still signaling your arms to try to rise.
The second experiment is like the first one in one way. Your body has become accustom to a different condition. When you stop spinning, you should notice that everything around you seems to be repeating. Your eyes are moving back and forth really quickly, just like they were when you were spinning. You can see this really clearly if you watch somebody else’s eyes right after they stop.
The third task is impossible. Your center of gravity is your balance point. When you run, your center of gravity continually moves forward and your feet catch you. If your center is not in the right place, you fall over. When you are up against the wall, you can’t shift your balance far enough over to stand on your right foot.
Columbo, Luann, Jennifer Fairman and Craig Zukerman. Uncover the Human Body: An Uncover It Book. Silver Dolphin Books. 2003.
Seuling, Barbara and Edward Miller. From Head to Toe: The Amazing Human Body and How It Works. Holiday House. 2002.
DK Publishing. First Human Body Encyclopedia. DK Children. 2005.