PBL Model Progress March 2, 2015

After some heated sessions of debate and building, our model is progressing quite well. We have discarded one of our ideas after it proved to be unsuccessful and unrewarding in terms of creativity. Our group has drawn up plans for a new model that will focus on the alveoli inside the lungs instead of the lungs themselves, and that particular model is progressing extremely well. With a prolonged session today, our group has managed to build and test several prototypes, and making necessary adjustments. The adhesive used to bind sections of our model together presented some problems, but we are ahead of schedule and plan to be finished with our model by the end of the next session.

However, this progress did not come without a large amount of embarrassing failures. Our first model, after deemed lacking creativity and extremely difficult to locate the materials required to construct it, and with the insurmountable task of assembling it, was thrown away. Back to the drawing board, we finally constructed a new model based on a new design that worked. As mentioned earlier, the adhesive used to bind our model “deactivated” upon contact with water, a major component in our model, forcing us to turn to the hot-glue gun. Furthermore, the pump was directing the water in the tubes in the wrong direction, reversing the flow and thus compromising our model’s function. There were many occasions where the coffee filters used for our alveoli burst open, and events started going horribly downhill. We have overcome these “road blocks” so far, and is ready to take on any more in the next few building and testing sessions.

Our model has yet to be finished, and one major material that is missing is a functional filter and another water bottle for another alveoli. This I will bring to the next building session to help the build, along with extra tape if needed. Today, our group cooperated extremely well together, with the jobs evenly divided and everyone willing to listen to each other’s opinions on how the model could be enhanced. Our skyrocketing progress can attest to this, and we wish to continue this behaviour throughout future sessions.

Science Questions and Materials

1. What body system did you pick to build as a working model?

Nicholas, Luke, and I chose to build a working model of the respiratory system.


2. Why have you decided to build this body system as a working model?

We chose the respiratory system because we displayed a curiosity towards it and found it extremely intriguing and interesting. Similarly, the model will be based on simpler principles than other systems, for example an enlaced chamber with a rubber sheet acting as a diaphragm and a balloon as the lung.


3. What materials are you going to need to complete your build?


– 1 Watson’s water 2 litter bottle

– 1 meter of 1cm diameter of plastic tubing.

– One 1 cm diameter Y-connecter.

– 2 small balloons

– 3 large balloons