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Make a Von Frey device to test where your body are most touch sensitive

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <2 Days

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Your skin protects your inside organs while keeping infections out and prevents you from getting sick. A medium sized adult’s skin weighs about 3,5kg! A human being’s skin is sensitive to pressure, touch and temperature. In this science experiment, make your own ‘Von Frey device’ with fishing line of various thicknesses, to test the touch sensitivity of various parts of your friends’ bodies:

Topics covered

Von Frey

What will I need?

  • RULER
  • STICKY TAPE
  • VARIOUS DIAMETER FISHING LINES
  • MAGIC MARKER
  • SCISSORS
  • CRAFT (ICE CREAM) STICKS
  • 5x FRIENDS

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment, you tested the ‘skin detection threshold’ of various test subjects. This is the smallest amount of touch that a person can notice. A person’s skin has several touch receptors that trigger a series of nerve impulses when activated by touch. The various parts of the human body have different amounts of touch receptors on the skin. For example, there are a lot of touch receptors on the fingers and face, but a lot fewer receptors on the skin of the back and legs. You can only feel pressure, temperature changes or ‘touch’ when these receptors on your skin are triggered, and nerve impulses are sent to your brain for interpretation. The fewer receptors on a specific part of the skin, the least likely you are to ‘feel’ a sensation.

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