Science Fair Projects for Lung Capacity

by Karen Boyd

Lung Capacity Project for Elementary School

An appropriate lung capacity project for an elementary school-age student should include pictures of the lungs and their location in the body and a short written explanation of the lungs' purpose. Students at this age could form a hypothesis about whether boys or girls have more lung capacity, or whether adults or children have more lung capacity. A simple experiment could involve testing which group can more fully inflate a plastic bag, or which group can blow up a balloon the fastest.

Lung Capacity Project for Middle School

Students at the middle school or junior high level should include a written report on lung capacity and develop a hypothesis grounded in science, rather than a simple guess. The experiment should also be more complex than that of younger students. A sample project could involve measuring the difference in lung capacity when a person is at rest as compared to lung capacity immediately following strenuous exercise. Students at this level should use a method of measuring results that has a measure of accuracy. An example might be having the test subject blow through a straw into a full bowl of water and comparing the volume of water displaced before and after exercise.

Lung Capacity Project for High School

High school science fair projects should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the subject area, through a referenced written report, a concise and accurate oral presentation and a detailed visual presentation. A high school project may examine how exercise increases the amount of carbon dioxide in a test subject's breath. The student would have the test subject blow into water through a straw, and by measuring the color of a bromothymol blue solution, create a baseline for carbon dioxide exhalation. After exercise, the test subject would again blow into the water creating a post-exercise reading for carbon dioxide exhalation. The difference in the water's carbon dioxide levels as shown by the changed color would reflect changes in carbon dioxide production before and after exercise.

About the Author

Legal - I have 15+ years experience as a trial attorney handling criminal and civil cases. I taught classes at both the Anchorage Police Academy, at the Alaska State Crime Lab, and at Alaska Junior College. Motorcycles - I have a published book for beginning women riders, and own and operate a web forum with over 800 members from 10 countries. I am known in the motorcycling community as a distance rider and mentor for new riders.