6th December 2002 at 00:00
Children will be fascinated by this information about the body and inventions used to overcome its frailties. There are many exciting activities to do:

* Keep a listening diary, recording the types of sounds and classifying them.

* Conduct a survey on the theme of favourite sounds. Design a questionnaire to establish what sounds are most popular and why. Write about the feelings different sounds evoke.

* Prepare a talk on how the ear works. Make sure it demonstrates where the various implants are fitted.

* Devise a test to establish which materials best conduct sound.

* In a group, using a model of the eye and a suitable lens, give a demonstration of how an operation to remove a cataract is done.

* Investigate how long heart transplant patients have survived after the operation. Plot the results on a graph.

* Interview somebody who has had a cataract removed or a hip replaced. How has the operation improved their life?

* Devise a test to establish the hearing range of different adults in school.

* Present a drama piece that demonstrates hearing. Have groups represent the different parts involved, for instance, sound waves, the malleus (hammer) incus (anvil) and the various nerve fibres (receptors).

* Talk to an occupational therapist or specialist teacher about the way school buildings can be adapted for pupils with sight or hearing difficulties.

* Test the relative strengths of different glues. Investigate how they work. Investigate other bonding processes.

* Draw a flow chart to demonstrate the function of the heart. Use small stickers to indicate how items such as heartpacers and defibrillators are used.

* Use the internet to investigate what parts of the body have been transplanted or replaced.

* Investigate how different types of hearing aids work.

* Visit the websites of some of the companies mentioned in the article. What research are they doing? What's next?

* Investigate ancient approaches to medicine. Which have proved forerunners to current practice? Which led to a dead end?

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