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Muscles and Bones

Author(s): Kimberly Chang, PhD, Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Z. Tharp, MS.
Muscles and Bones

Region of bone growth showing cartilage (stained purple) and bone (yellow-green).
© Wellcome Photo Library, Wellcome Images. CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Grades:
  • 6-8

Students investigate bone and muscle structure, physical stress and nutrition, the body's center of gravity, and ways to prevent muscle and bone loss. The guide provides the following activities and readings.

  1. Gravity and Buoyancy - What effect does gravity have on an object when the object stands alone or is submerged in water (buoyancy)?

  2. Skeletal Structures - Why do many organisms on Earth have a support or skeletal system?

  3. The Skeleton - What is an endoskeleton?

  4. Bone Structure: Hollow vs. Solid - How are bones strong enough to hold a body upright, yet light and flexible enough for easy movement?

  5. Arm Model - How do muscles and bones work together to achieve movement?

  6. Muscle Fibers - What is a muscle made of and what gives a muscle its strength?

  7. The Science of Muscle Research - NSBRI researchers look for ways to counteract some of the changes that occur in the bodies of astronauts after they have lived and worked in space aboard the International Space Station.

  8. Center of Gravity - What is your center of gravity and can it adjust to different situations?

  9. Good Stress for Your Body - Is physical stress good for you?

  10. Muscles and Bones: Nutrition - How can we meet the nutritional needs of healthy bones and muscles?

  11. Muscles and Bones in Space - What can be done to prevent muscle and bone loss?

Inquiry-based activities in The Science of Muscles and Bones Teacher’s Guide, was designed for students in grades 6–8, but also may be used with other grade levels as deemed appropriate.

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Download: The Science of Muscles and Bones Teacher's Guide Download: Classroom Slides

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

This work was supported by National Space Biomedical Research Institute through NASA cooperative agreement NCC 9-58.