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Meeting a physiologist and performing a science experiment can help K-12 students develop a personal connection to science and the scientific method while improving their observational skills. By learning about and understanding their own body processes they can begin to take responsibility for their personal health and well-being. The goal of this activity during PhUn (Physiology Understanding) Week was to demonstrate to second grade students that heart rate and blood pressure increase with exercise. The physiologist came into the classroom and gave an introduction on the cardiovascular system. Heart rate and blood pressure were defined. The experimental design of the activity was described. Thirty-two students were divided into pairs by their teachers. The students used heart rate-blood pressure monitors to measure their pre-exercise levels. The students went out to the playground and one member of each pair exercised for five minutes by running laps around the playground. When exercise was completed the partner used the monitor to measure post-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. All data was recorded by teachers. The physiologist concluded the experiment by explaining why the students had seen heart rate and blood pressure increase with exercise. The benefits of exercise and healthy eating were then discussed with the students. Feedback from teachers and students indicated this activity was a valuable and positive learning experience.
Life Science Teaching Resource Community
The American Physiological Society
Halpin, P. (2014). The Effects of Exercise on Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Were Tested by Second Graders-PhUn Week Poster Session EB 2014. Life Science Teaching Resource Community, A Partnership of Life Science Organizations. Retrieved from http://www.lifescitrc.org/resource.cfm?submissionID=9279
This resource was published by The American Physiological Society in Life Science Teaching Resource Community in 2014. Available online: https://www.lifescitrc.org/resource.cfm?submissionID=9279