Prof. Wall will be participating in the FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science) Capstone event for girls in 4th through 6th grade. The all-day event is on Saturday, February 27. The Duke FEMMES website is http://sites.duke.edu/femmes/.
Muscles and Energy: What Happens When You Eat?
Humans need to take in energy to provide fuel for all of the things they do. But did you ever wonder how much energy is used during the process of eating and digestion, or how energy use might be related to our anatomy? In this activity students will learn about the anatomy and physiology of eating. We will learn about what muscles are, we will measure the energy it takes to use them during eating, and draw some conclusions about what happens when you eat!! We will begin with a brief overview of the types of muscle in the body, how muscles use energy through aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and the use of respirometry to measure energy consumption. Students can choose to participate in one of two hands-on activities. The first is a gross anatomy activity where students will compare striated and smooth muscle by dissecting these tissues and looking at them under a microscope. The second is an experiment to measure energy consumption during chewing and digestion. Students will set up the respirometry equipment and record data from classmates while they eat a healthy food and then rest quietly after eating. We will analyze the data and talk about what types of anatomical structures might increase or decrease energy use during chewing and digestion.