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Huff and puff: Designing a device for measuring exhalation volume

This unit is designed for 10-12 years old pupils. It relates to the science curriculum for the respiratory system and the concept of volume. It also relates to the biomedical engineering field.

The Preparatory lesson is designed to raise awareness of how engineering contributes to our daily lives in ways that are not always obvious.

In Lesson 1, the pupils are introduced to the challenge of the unit: to design a device to quantitatively measure the maximal volume of air in the lungs that is used for breathing. The motivation for building this instrument is presented as a short story about a girl who has breathing difficulties and needs help to diagnose from what she is suffering. The pupils are also exposed to the field of biomedical engineering and the Engineer Design Process (EDP) through a short interactive workshop.EDP-illustration

Lesson 2 is the Ask stage of the EDP. It involves gathering scientific information to help pupils solve the challenge. By performing experiments, the pupils learn scientific principles about the respiratory system; measurement; the concepts of volume and exhalation volume, and methods to measure them.

In Lesson 3, the pupils apply the scientific knowledge they have gained to meet the challenge and design a device to quantitatively measure the maximal volume of air in the lungs that can be expelled after deep inhalation (maximal exhalation volume).They work in groups, raise ideas for solutions and choose one of them (Imagine”), Plan” and Create” their own instrument.

Lesson 4 includes examination and presentation of the measuring instruments each group they designed and built. Based on their experiments with these instruments, the pupils evaluate their instruments, discuss and raise suggestions for “Improvement”.
The pupils also learn about a real biomedical instrument being used by physicians to diagnose breathing problems.














 >Click here to download the teacher guid – bio-medical engineering & human body, respiratory system

>Here are the trainings handbooks for facilitating an ENGINEER training for teachers

For further information, contact : Maya Halevy, Museum director,