Programs & Events

Human Health Mystery – pH-The Secret Alliance of Kidneys and Lungs

Program Number: 
Program Type: 
Family Program
Workshop or Trip
Feb. 15, 2012 | Wednesday, 10:00am
Multiple Times: 
Saturday, February 16, 2013; 10:00am-12:00pm
Minimum age 11(minors must be accompanied by a paying adult).
Location: Nature Research Center - Micro World Investigate Lab- 3rd floor
$10 per participant.

Kidneys and lungs.  One filters waste, the other lets us breathe.  So when a patient shows up very ill from an incorrect pH level in their body, why do doctors look at both of these organs for the source of the problem…and the solution?

This class covers the basics of acid-base chemistry, including hands-on lab activities with pH meters, acids, bases, and buffers. It explores how two body organs with very different functions, in very different locations, actually work together to keep the human body in its narrow, life-sustaining pH range. Comparing organ models to dissected sheep organs and microscopic views of tissues, students will learn about the anatomy and functions of these vital organs, as well as how to observe, record, and question what they see. The class concludes with the students learning why the patient’s pH is out of normal range, and what can be done to help.

Focus will be on diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, caused primarily by smoking/pollution), and Type II Diabetes (often caused by poor diet in combination with genetic factors), and their effects on:

  • Kidney and lung tissues
  • Blood pH problems such as Pulmonary and Metabolic Acidosis
  • Long-term health outlook

Family Science Investigations programs offer families an opportunity to participate together in monthly science classes related to Museum research, including topics in ecology, paleontology, geology and biology. These classes are especially useful for homeschoolers looking for additional reinforcement to curriculum goals, or any family group that simply enjoys learning together!

Program Instructor: Deb Bailey and Christy Flint, Coordinators for Micro World investigate Lab.

Registration information: Fill out online, print and mail the Museum’s Registration Form with payment.

For more information contact Debbie Huston, scheduling coordinator, at 919.707.9840.

All classes are made available through the generosity of a grant from the Biogen Idec Foundation.