What's Going On Inside Me?
In this unit students investigate how the human body manages to do the complex activities of everyday life. Students investigate organization in body systems and the role of the body’s cells in these systems. To examine the levels of organization in body systems, students track what happens to food as it goes through the digestive system, to the circulatory system, to be delivered all over the body. The investigation of where food needs to go and where it is processed to release and use energy leads to identifying cells as the location where the major functions of processing food for energy and releasing waste occur. Students build on their understanding of food providing energy and building materials from 6th grade biology and on the role of energy in chemical reactions from 7th grade chemistry, and identify energy-releasing chemical reactions as occurring within cells to release the energy from food. Students investigate the link of increased oxygen intake with increased activity and obtain evidence that oxygen is also used at the cellular level in these reactions. The unit concludes with an investigation of how body systems are coordinated and consequences of disruption to various body systems.