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Lungometer: Vital Lung Capacity

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

Let’s Talk About It

With younger students, draw a large graph on the board. Label the X axis “Students.” Number the Y axis from 0 to 4,000 mL, using 500 mL intervals. Have students write their names and lung capacity measurements on “sticky” notes, and then help each student place his/her note at the appropriate level on the graph (see figure).

Older students should obtain the average value for their vital lung capacities over three trials, as shown on the Lungometer Data Sheet. After students have completed their calculations, have them graph their average vital lung capacities as described in the previous paragraph.

Discuss the class results charted on the graph. Ask, What was the highest vital lung capacity in the class? What was the lowest? How could we determine the average vital lung capacity for the entire class?


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