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Year 9 Students Investigate "Life Support"

28 December 2015

In Year 9 Science, one of the topics studied is "Life Support" which is all about how different systems in the body co-ordinate with one another and how we actually get the energy we need for life processes from the food we eat.

  • Dissection
  • Dissection
  • Dissection

Firstly, the circulatory system was studied in which students investigated the different blood vessels within the human body and a perfect example of the organ that contains these is the heart. Students dissected a heart, investigating which blood vessels lead into which chamber and comparing the thickness of each side of the heart making conclusions as to which side pumps blood to the body and which to the lungs. They were able to state why the heart is the only organ to have its pulmonary artery and vein labelled the opposite way around to what would be expected. When slicing open the heart, they were able to see the strong valves separating the different chambers and could see where the phrase "tugging on the heart strings" arises from with their observations of these structures.

Following on from the heart dissection was the lung dissection as this is part of the respiratory system. Again the structures could be seen but it is important for students to feel the tissue - to feel their own windpipe in the neck as well as the trachea in the dissection. They also used a foot pump to see how the lungs function and saw the lung tissue become pink as a result of oxygen going into the air sacs.

Next is the digestive system where students see how these systems are linked up with the process of respiration and why all cells need this process. 

Mrs Paula Alderson