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Breathing Machine

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Breathing Machine

Students will create a model that demonstrates the interaction among the lungs, chest and diaphragm during breathing. They also will make predictions, investigate, record observations, and draw conclusions based on their investigations. They will learn that the diaphragm and rib muscles change the size of the chest cavity and control whether air enters or exits the lungs. 

Specific science concepts addressed in this activity include the following.

  • Volume changes in the chest cavity cause air to move in and out of the lungs.
  • When we breathe in, oxygen moves from the air in our lungs to our blood and carbon dioxide is released from the blood to air. 

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education