What does our breathing system consist of? 

Our breathing system consists of a lot of different parts. The main thing that we want to understand before today's episode, is that some of the key components of our breathing system are the trachea (windpipe), the lungs (main organs) and the diaphragm. The image below shows their positions in the system: 

So, let's think about when we breathe in (or inhale). When we breathe in, we take air into our mouth and/or nose. That air then travels down the trachea (windpipe) and enters our lungs. The key part of the air we breathe in is oxygen.

When the air reaches our lungs, the oxygen has the opportunity to enter into our bloodstream and our body. When we breathe out (exhale), the air then travels in the opposite direction. They key thing our body needs from this, is for us to get rid of carbon dioxide that our body has made. In other words, we want to get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out!  

Did you know? Our breathing is involuntary. This means that we don't have to continuously think and remind ourselves to breathe. Our brain is monitoring and controlling this for us.  

You are going to be building a model of the lungs as part of this episode and build upon your learning here to think about exactly what happens during breathing.   

Before you begin to watch the episode, please gather the equipment you will need for the maker challenge:

So, if you have your equipment gathered, let's go and learn more with the DreamSpace team and their special guest, Colin Keogh. 

Hopefully, you are now excited about what you have just learnt about the breathing system, the lungs and being able to design your own solutions that could possibly help people. 

  • Complete the challenge from this lesson and construct your very own set of lungs
  • Complete the challenge that Colin Keogh has set for you and construct a bionic arm. 

The document below, from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and Robot Revolution, is what Colin uses when working with groups of students across Ireland when creating a solution for this challenge. Download the document and give it a go.