What keeps the blood in your body moving in one direction? How do your lungs pull air in and push air out? Why does your nose make sticky snot while your intestines make smelly gas? Discover how your body really works with the new, free DIY Human Body app. The app uses everyday items to let you explore your body's complex machinery in 13 fun, hands-on STEM activities.
With the DIY Human Body app, you can engineer models of human organs, and make a centrifuge replica that tests the contents of "blood." You can carry out experiments on what makes your bones both rigid and flexible. You can even get "gross" to learn about the fluids and chemicals your body produces that keep you healthy.
Developed by UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, DIY Human Body for the iPad and iPhone offers easy, safe explorations of how your body parts and systems work. One activity uses a plastic bottle, balloon, and disposable glove to engineer an "artificial lung" that shows how your lungs and diaphragm muscle allow you to breathe. Another activity lets you construct a one-way valve, like those in your heart and circulatory system. These kinds of hands-on explorations offer insights into staying healthy, and engineering artificial body parts.
"Advances in medical science and engineering are giving us a closer look than ever inside the human body," says Chris Keller, who led the app's development. "Breaking down and exploring the interconnected parts and mechanisms help us understand the body as a whole, and encourage us to keep our own bodies healthy."
With inquiry-based activities and videos, the app lets you go deeper to experience what makes your body strong and protects you from getting sick. The app also teaches why getting exercise, eating healthy food, washing your hands well, and not smoking are so important to your own health and the health of others.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the app can be used for learning at home, at school, after school, at community health events, and for patients in medical facilities. The DIY Human Body app follows two previous apps from Lawrence Hall of Science, DIY Nano and DIY Sun Science.