Topic Body Systems
Subject Science
Grades 6th – 8th
Overview: Students experience the “Balancing Tubes” activity from The Systems Thinking Playbook (Booth Sweeney and Meadows).  The goal of the activity is to balance a rolled newspaper tube on one’s flattened palm. The resulting dynamics help students explore how aspects of the human body such as the hormonal system are kept in balance over time.  Students also discuss what happens if a system, whether it is a newspaper tube or the hormonal system, falls out of balance.
ST Concept Concepts:

  • Balancing feedback

Habits of a systems thinker:

  • observes how elements within systems change over time, generating patterns and trends
  • identifies the circular nature of complex cause and effect relationships, i.e. interdependencies
ST Tools  None
Standards Describe how the various systems of living organisms work together to perform a vital function:

  • respiratory and circulatory
  • muscular and skeletal
  • digestive and excretory

Implemented by: Kathleen Hamilton

Submitted by: Anne LaVigne

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