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In this activity about human anatomy (page 16 of PDF), learners construct a model arm and discover how muscles and bones work together to achieve efficient movement. Learners will use rulers, a paper clip, string, a brad, and tape to build the model and then investigate what happens when they connect the string "muscle" to different places on the arm. This guide includes background information, extensions, and learner handouts.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • copy of "Arm Model Instructions" and "Arm Model Observations" sheets
  • 3 rulers (with holes in the center)
  • metal paper clip
  • 50 cm of string
  • large brad
  • scissors
  • clear tape


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Skeleton
      • Muscles and Skin
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
    • Number and Operations
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, 2000

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC9-58