Applied Science - Physics (1B)
Post Lab 

  • Exploring the human machine.
  • Comparing the human body to a machine.


  • joints
  • machine
  • movement
  • muscles
  • skeleton
  • studentís body

Students use their body to experiment with motion.


The human body is a well-developed machine that moves efficiently. Ask students how a human moves. The bones and muscles together make the body move. Both are needed to make the body walk, run, jump, or preform any other motion that the body is capable of. If our bones were all one piece, we could not move. The human body has joints that help movement.

Muscles move the limbs and other parts of the body in the directions allowed by the ligaments. In the case of movement at the knee joint, one major muscle is on the front and several muscles are on the back of the joint. There are similar arrangements of muscles around the ankles and many other areas of the body. Bodies are literally a bag of bones that muscles can change into different figures. All muscles differ from each part of the body.

Motion is all around us. The human body has developed the forces that act on it, making a human machine that moves effectively and efficiently. Machines are made to help humans function better.


  1. Instruct students to touch and move the joints in their body. Instruct students to do the following:
  1. Lift their foot about 15 cm off the ground. Have students rotate their foot.
  2. Twist their head from left to right.
  3. Bend their knees.
  4. Hold their hand in front with palm up. Extend the thumb toward their pinky then move their thumb straight up.
  5. Support themselves by leaning on a hand against a table then lift their foot about 20 cm above the ground. Move the foot so that it makes a small circle in the air.
  1. Students have now used their joints. Humans have many large and small joints. Emphasize that they could not make graceful movements without joints - they would look like robots.
  2. Have students feel their muscles by instructing them to do the following:
  1. Firmly flex the forearm. Determine the location on the arm at which a muscle gets tense and enlarges. This is called the bicep muscles.
  2. Examine the lower legs while rising up on the toes.
  3. Clench the teeth together and locate the tense muscles on the face.
  4. Turn the head to the far left or right. Note where the muscle becomes visible.

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