Embark on a journey into the intricate world of the respiratory system as I delve into Unit 12’s Learning Objective, aiming to analyze the effects of disease on the function and structure of the respiratory system. In this STEAM project, I focus on respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, seeking to visually illustrate the disparities between a healthy lung and one affected by asthma. Utilizing a unique medium, a 3D clay model, I aim to provide a deeper understanding of how this condition alters lung function and structure. Through this creative representation, I highlight the narrowing of bronchial airways and inflammation of lung tissue, ultimately impacting breathing. Driven by a fascination with the complexities of the lungs, I aim to unveil the intricacies of asthma’s effects on respiratory health.

Asthma, classified as an obstructive pulmonary disease, manifests an increased airway resistance, potentially leading to hyperinflation of lungs (Unit 12 Respiratory Systems Lecture Slide 10). This narrowing of the bronchi due to blockage serves as the focal point of my project. By using clay to split the lungs as shown in pink, I created a model to help understand the distinguishing between healthy and asthmatic airways. I shaped the bronchi in purple to visually depict the impact of asthma on respiratory function. The lung serves merely as a visual cue, the more detailed differences lie within the airways. As demonstrated in my project, there is a severe difference between an asthmatic airway and a healthy airway. The asthmatic airway appears swollen and inflamed, reflecting the characteristic inflammation seen in asthma. 

Asthma is characterized by coughing, dyspnea, wheezing and chest tightness. Active inflammation of airways precedes bronchospasms. Airway inflammation is an immune response caused by the release of interleukins, production of lgeE, and recruitment of inflammatory cells. Airways thicken with inflammatory exudate magnifying effect of bronchospasms (Unit 12 Respiratory Systems Lecture Slide 65). The project aims to translate these physiological features into a tangible, visual representation using the 3D clay model. 

Furthermore, this project explores the mechanics underlying asthma. Asthma involves more than just airflow limitation resulting from airway narrowing, it entails multiple consequences, including airway closure and airway hyperresponsiveness. Airway closure, for instance, contributes to the difficulty in breathing experienced by individuals during asthma attacks, while hyperresponsiveness exacerbates bronchial constriction in response to triggers. By examining these dynamic changes in lung mechanics over time, it may provide valuable insights into asthma stability and refine strategies for disease management. 

In conclusion, the Breath Beyond Bounds STEAM project acts as a complete examination of the lung’s architecture, revealing the intricate symphony of their structures and functions. By focusing on the abnormalities of the bronchial airways this intuitive sheds light on the complex interplay between the lungs and breathing. Moreover, it serves as compelling evidence of the intricacy and beauty in our respiratory system. Through this project, I deepened my understanding of respiratory health, highlighting how a sophisticated grasp of its structures enhances our awareness of its inner workings and complexities, ultimately paving the way for more informed approaches to addressing conditions like asthma.


Jeffery, P. K. (2004). Remodeling and inflammation of bronchi in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 1(3), 176-183. 

Kaminsky, D. A., & Chapman, D. G. (2011). Asthma and lung mechanics. Comprehensive Physiology, 10(3), 975-1007. Lewis, M. J., Short, A. L., & Lewis, K. E. (2006). Autonomic nervous system control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in asthma. Respiratory medicine, 100(10), 1688-1705.

Lewis, M. J., Short, A. L., & Lewis, K. E. (2006). Autonomic nervous system control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems in asthma. Respiratory medicine, 100(10), 1688-1705.

One Comment

  1. I really like the title of this project as well as the opening line and paragraph, you did a great job of drawing the reader in. I also enjoyed how you mentioned the course objectives and they didn’t feel just slapped on the assignment they had a nice flow. This project is summarized as clean, well put together and informative. The steam project is a 3D model to showcase what a healthy airway and one of asthma looks like. I like how visually you gave two separate examples to show healthy vs constricted. I like how everything had order to it, you didn’t jump around or add random facts. Every statement had a clear direct path, and you did a great job of citing your sources. Your conclusion was nicely written as well and helped tie everything together. As for the 3D model, I felt like this was a unique approach and you can tell you took your time on it, it’s always exciting to see real art be showcased! Lastly, I really enjoyed your final statement and that it was showcasing through your research what you learned and how you were able to tie that into your project. Great job!

    Haleah Schmidt

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