During the breathing cycle, air is inhaled, distributed throughout the lungs, and then exhaled. Lung volume includes a group of measures that quantify the amount of air that is inhaled or exhaled during both normal breathing and forceful breathing. In this experiment, you will be working with two of these measurements: Tidal Volume (TV): volume of air inhaled or exhaled during under normal breathing and Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV), the amount of residual air that is exhaled under more forceful breathing. Measurements of lung volume will be conducted on a group of participants, from which you will determine if there is a difference in lung capacity between genders.
Boys will have a (higher/lower) lung volume than girls
• Create a hypothesis for which gender has the largest lung volume. • Conduct an experiment to measure the lung volume of participants. • Collect data by recording the lung volume of participants. • Analyze the collected data. • Form a conclusion as to whether there are differences in lung volume, between genders.
When breathing in air (inhalation), the lungs fill up with air, from which oxygen is extracted. When exhaling, air is released from the lungs in the form of carbon dioxide. The amount of air held by the lungs is lung volume. Lung volume varies based on the individual. Size, gender, health, age, ethnicity, and geographical location are all factors that cause variation in lung volume. Tall people have a larger lung volume than short people. Being athletic and in good shape increases your lung volume, while health conditions or the lack of exercise can reduce it. People who live in high altitudes will have a larger lung volume than those who live at sea level. In this experiment, you will compare the lung volumes between genders, while eliminating the differences caused by the previously mentioned variables.
Lung volume , Tidal Volume (TV) , Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV)
Supply of balloons (all equal in size)
Establish your hypothesis: For example - “Boys will have a (higher/lower) lung volume than girls.”
Divide the participants into two groups: 10 males and 10 females. The individuals of these groups should be of approximately the same age and have no history of asthma, bronchitis, or other health problems.
Tidal Volume (TV)
Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV)
The larger the volume of a participant’s lungs, the more air he or she blows into the balloon. Hence, the larger the balloon, the greater the volume, as indicated in the volume table. Refer to the illustration. In the measurement and recording of lung volume, would the shape of the balloon matter? How do you think it would affect your measurements?
We’ve already mentioned that all participants should be of the same age, and should have no ailments. What are some other variables that should be controlled, in the experiment? For example, does it matter whether all participants use the same type of balloon, made from the same material? What about the color of the balloons? How about the temperature and humidity of the surrounding environment?
Repeat the experiment over a wide range of age groups and ethnicities
“What Should I Know about Lung Capacity?” on the Wise Geek web site http://www.wisegeek.org/what-should-i-know-about-lung-capacity.htm
“Respiratory or Lung Volumes and Capacities” at GetBodySmart http://www.getbodysmart.com/ap/respiratorysystem/physiology/spirometry/volumescapacities/animation.html