D.I.Y. Science – What happens when you breathe?



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The D.I.Y. Science series contains some of our favourite experiments for kids to try at home. They are designed to help primary school teachers and carers inspire a child’s curiosity in science. It’s time to get hands-on.

This episode shows what happens to our lungs when we breathe and how our respiratory system draws air in and out of our body. You will learn how to build a model lung that can actually breathe using resources that you can find around the house.

It is best suited to year 8 and 9 biology students who are learning about the respiratory system. It also mentions air pressure and how this results in air being drawn in to and expelled out of our lungs.


Make your own model of a lung to find out what happens when we breathe.

Video Length: 2:00 mins

With thanks to Questacon.

What happens inside your body when you breathe? What makes the air move in and out of your lungs? Find out by trying the activity in this short video.


What you’ll need:

1 x pair of scissors
2 x balloons
1 x drinking straw
1 x elastic/rubber band
1 x pencil
1 x ball of plasticine
1 x 600 ml plastic PET bottle

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Years: 8, 9


Biological Sciences – Cells; The Body

Additional: Careers; Technology

Concepts (South Australia):

Biological Sciences – Form and Function