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A MATTER OF BALANCE

Study which factors affect a person’s sense of balance

Suitable For

Grade 4

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

Human beings can vary quite significantly from each other. Our size, shape, eye colour, hair colour and even our sense of balance is different from one another. In the following science experiment, study the sense of balance of some of your friends and which factors influence this:

Topics covered

Balance, Proprioception

What will I need?

  • PENCIL
  • WHITE PAPER
  • STOP WATCH
  • CARDBOARD
  • 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.

The human balance system is made up of three sensory systems: Vision, Proprioception (gravity and stretch sensors found in muscles and joints), and the vestibular system (organs in the inner ear which detect position changes). Complications in any one of these sensory systems, or with the brain’s integration of the inputs from the three, can cause a person to feel dizzy, disoriented or unsteady. In this science experiment, the participants find it harder to balance with their eyes closed because one of the sensory systems, vision, required for optimal balance has been removed. Focusing on a stationary object allows a consistent point of reference with regards to direction and distance, which your body needs to help keep in balance.

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