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Science Of The Run: Electrolytes in the Body

Day 4 Physiology: Demonstrate the effect of exercise and sweating on the levels of electrolytes in the human body. Check out the links at the end of this post for the full experiment details!

The decision to run having been made, the i2P team sets out, moving one foot in front of the other as they cross the great salt flats of Bolivia. Each step requires the coordination of countless muscle fibers. Similar to nerve function, muscle contraction is also a product of the flow of ions across muscle cell membranes.

The body loses electolytes like salts through sweat. It is important to replace electolytes in the body during and after exercise or sweating. The human body needs salts for health and to function normally. Electolytes are used in the muscles, nerves, and heart. Here are the results from our electrolyte testing over the last several days. Instead of writing up a report, Dr. Ewan Affleck and I discussed the results and you can listen to the discussion here.

  • Dr. Greg Wells Intro To Electrolytes

  • Electrolyte Discussion

  • Cramping

» Full experiment report and results
» Dr. Wells' Science Of The Run

A complex series of metabolic pathways are present in human muscles that break down food to produce energy for different types of muscular activity. Dr. Greg Wells will perform experiments to highlight how our bodies work in high altitude and during long distance endurance running.

Chemistry Lab: Burning of Lithium

Day 4 Chemistry: Illustrate the three essential ingredients needed for fire. Check out the links at the end of this post for the full experiment details!

  • Chemistry Lab - Flame Test

» Full experiment report and results
» Dr. Agnes' Chemistry Lab

During the expedition chemistry professor Dr. George Agnes will draw lessons from Salar de Uyuni's unique environment to illustrate fundamental chemistry principles. On a daily basis the i2P team will conduct fascinating chemistry experiments that students following on-line can observe and replicate in their classrooms.

Chemistry Lab: Solid Crust Formation on the Salar

Day 3 Chemistry: Determine why salt forms a solid crust on the Salar. Check out the links at the end of this post for the full experiment details!

  • Bolivia Chemistry - Crust on the Salar

  • Solid Crust Formation on the Salar

» Full experiment report and results
» Dr. Agnes' Chemistry Lab

During the expedition chemistry professor Dr. George Agnes will draw lessons from Salar de Uyuni's unique environment to illustrate fundamental chemistry principles. On a daily basis the i2P team will conduct fascinating chemistry experiments that students following on-line can observe and replicate in their classrooms.

Schools Experiment: Boiling Water

The purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate the effect of altitude (atmospheric pressure) on the boiling point temperature of water.

Experiment: boil water in your classroom and carefully measure the boiling temperature. What is the elevation of your community in meters? Compare your results to those noted on the expedition graph. What does this tell you about the atmospheric pressure where you live?

View full experiment description and results here.

Park Forest Middle School

Boiling point: 98.3° C
Elevation: 1330 feet (405 meters)
Pressure: 29.79 in Hg (1008.7 mb)

  • Boiling Water

  • Boiling Water

  • Boiling Water

  • Boiling Water

Dresden Elementary

Our elevations is 614 feet
The water boiled for us at 106°C

  • Boiling Water

  • Boiling Water

Coulee Kids

Our elevation in La Crosse, Wisconsin is 669 feet or 204 meters.
Our boiling point is 210°F or 99°C.

  • Boiling Water

  • Boiling Water

Day 2 Journal, Pics and More Experiments!

Despite feeling the effects of altitude sickness, the i2P Youth Ambassadors tackled 41km on day 2 of their expedition across the Salar de Uyuni!

Ewan Affleck tells us how Dr. Greg Wells will be looking at human physiology as it responds to elevation and how Dr. George Agnes will be refining salt from salt samples.

In the 3rd video, Dr. George Agnes helps Youth Ambassadors perform a small scale experiment where they extract and enrich lithium found in the salt flats. Part 2 is coming soon!

  • Day 2 - 41km

  • Ewan Affleck Previews Day 2 Science

  • Day 2 Chemistry: Extraction of Lithium (Part 1)

  • Day 2 Physiology with Dr. Greg Wells

» Physiology experiment report and results
» Chemistry experiment report and results

Pics from Day 2:

Science Of The Run: Blood Oxygen Saturation

A complex series of metabolic pathways are present in human muscles that break down food to produce energy for different types of muscular activity. Dr. Greg Wells will perform experiments to highlight how our bodies work in high altitude and during long distance endurance running.

Day 1 Physiology: Study the effects of altitude on the human body's oxygen levels. Check out the links at the end of this post for the full experiment details!

  • Day 1 Physiology with Dr. Greg Wells

  • Blood Saturation Testing

  • Blood Oxygen Measurements

  • Heart Rate Results

» Full experiment report and results
» Dr. Wells' Science Of The Run