This week, 7th grade students did a lab experiment that served as an introduction to their unit studying the digestive system. The students were given saltine crackers, plastic baggies, and a small cup of water. They placed the crackers in the baggies and crushed them up. Once that was complete, the students poured water into the baggies and mushed the mixture around with their hands.
They then poured soda in the bag to further break down the crackers before dumping the slurry into coffee filters and squeezing out the liquid, simulating how food is digested. “Most students thought this exciting project was gross – but cool, and educational,” said Layla Gilbert ’26.
As the 7th graders continue to learn about the organs and the function of the digestive system, they will refer back to this activity and think about what each part of the activity represents.
“Watching kids make connections in their learning is one of the things I enjoy most about teaching,” said 7th Grade Science Teacher, Michelle Bouchard. “One of the easiest ways for students to remember information is through experiences.”
In addition to being a great way to demonstrate how the digestive system works, the experiment had the added benefit of using household items so that distance learners could follow along.
“In this pandemic world, some of the old experiences are limited, so we have been working on substituting with new options that can also be replicated at home for our students who are attending from there,” said Mrs. Bouchard.
While on campus, the students also did an activity that demonstrated the importance of a large surface area in the intestines and another that demonstrated the problem solving scientists must do in order for medication to be dissolved and absorbed by the correct organ.
All-in-all, it was a great lab experience led by the 7th grade science team that went off without a hiccup!