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Bone strength

By Diane Moore,2014-01-04 18:14
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Bone strength

    Context > Ceramics > Teaching and Learning Approaches > Bone strength

    STUDENT ACTIVITY: Bone strength

Activity idea

    In this activity, students create artificial bones made of paper to compare the relative strength of solid bones with hollow bones.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    ; describe the main anatomical features of a large load-bearing bone like the femur ; compare the load characteristics of hollow versus solid paper ‘bones’

    ; explain the advantages of hollow versus solid in terms of bone construction.

Introduction/background notes

    What you need

    What to do

    Student worksheet 1 Basic bone anatomy match photos with correct caption

    Answers to student worksheet 1

    Student worksheet 2 Basic bone anatomy questions

    Student worksheet 3 Bone strength solid versus hollow

Introduction/background

    Hydroxyapatite minerals help to give bone its strength. The way bones are constructed also plays a part, for example, the main load-bearing bones of the body are not solid as one might expect but hollow.

    The long bones of the body like the femur (thigh bone) are hollow, and for most of the length of the bone, the cross sectional shape is a circle. This hollow cylindrical structure gives the bone added strength as well as reduction in mass.

    This activity compares the relative strength of solid bones with hollow bones. Instead of using real animal bones, artificial bones are constructed with A4 paper. The load-bearing capabilities of these bones are then compared.

    Before completing the hollow versus solid test, students will complete a preliminary exercise dealing with basic large bone anatomy.

What you need

; Student worksheets

    ; Sheets of A4 paper

    ; Sticky tape

    ; Cardboard box lid (A4 photocopy paper box lid is ideal)

    ; Supply of booklets or textbooks to act as weights

What to do

    1. Hand out copies of worksheet 1 and have students complete it. Discuss the results.

    2. Hand out copies of worksheet 2 and have students complete it. Discuss the results.

    3. Hand out copies of worksheet 3 and make sure students have the necessary materials.

    Have students complete the activity. Discuss the results.

? 20072010 The University of Waikato 1

    www.sciencelearn.org.nz

    Context > Ceramics > Teaching and Learning Approaches > Bone strength

    Student worksheet 1 Basic bone anatomy match photos with correct caption

    Cross-section shows compact bone with the

    medullary canal at the centre.

    Running through the middle of the bone is a

    hollow section called the medullary canal. It

    contains yellow bone marrow rich in fat.

    The butcher is using a band saw to cut the

    cow shinbone in cross-section.

    The butcher is using a band saw to cut the

    cow shinbone longitudinally.