Activity Dependency:

fast Look

great Level: 9 (9 – 12) Time Required: 30 minutes team Size: 28 topic Areas:
Life scientific research

Units serve as guides to a particular content or topic area. Nested under units room lessons (in purple) and hands-on tasks (in blue).

You are watching: How long does it take for a pill to digest

note that no all lessons and activities will exist under a unit, and instead may exist together "standalone" curriculum.

Feel better Faster: All about Flow price how Antibiotics work-related Microfluidic Devices and also Flow rate
Unit Lesson Activity



In a course demonstration, the teacher places various pill varieties ("chalk" pill, gelatin pill, and gel tablet) into separate glass beakers that vinegar, representing human being stomach acid. ~ 20-30 minutes, the pills dissolve. Students observe which dissolve the fastest, and also discuss the remnants of the various pills. What they find out contributes to their recurring objective to answer the challenge question presented in lesson 1 the this unit.

In the acidic human stomach, do various pill varieties dissolve faster than others?

Engineering connection

Biomedical engineers use experiment to find how assorted chemical substances react in the human being body, because that example, the absorb of medication and how the human body breaks under the external coatings of pills and capsules. To test brand-new medicines, scientists use services with chemical compositions comparable to the environments found in the human body come model miscellaneous body reactions. Engineers likewise create every sorts of devices and also tools used in experiments, and an imaginative medicine distribution materials and equipment, consisting of syringes and patches, and even the factories for making different varieties of pills and also bottling liquids.

discovering Objectives

After this activity, students should be may be to:

Describe what wake up to a pill in the human being stomach.Explain i m sorry pill type is soaked up the fastest.

Educational standards

each great or activity is associated to one or an ext K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

every 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards extended in room collected, maintained and also packaged by the Achievement requirements Network (ASN), a project of D2L (

In the ASN, standards space hierarchically structured: an initial by source; e.g., through state; within resource by type; e.g., scientific research or mathematics; within form by subtype, climate by grade, etc.

International an innovation and design Educators combination - modern technology
State criter
Tennessee - science
suggest an alignment not provided above

products List

For the course demonstration:

3 small glass beakers~ 2 cups vinegar3 varieties of pills: chalk, gelatin capsule, gel tablet computer

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We have actually been request to recognize which form of medicine works the fastest.

So plenty of TV and also magazine advertisements case that their medicines offer the quickest relief.

So we room going to perform our own experiment to watch three various pill develops to investigate even if it is the ads are truthful in their insurance claims of offering fast relief, and to identify which kind breaks under the faster in the body.

How go medicine obtain into the bloodstream? The human being stomach is filled with an acidic solution that breaks down all the food and liquid that we ingest.

How lengthy do friend think the takes for a pill come dissolve in the stomach? To produce a comparable environment, we will use vinegar.

Watch the pills carefully. You might be surprised in ~ what happens!



Gather products on a table that is visible to anyone in the class.Fill every beaker with around one-quarter cup vinegar (or till beakers are half full).Introduce the demo to students utilizing the information in the Introduction/Motivation section.Place one pill in each beaker. Keep in mind the start time on the clock.After number of minutes, pick up the beakers and observe any change in color of the vinegar. Also, watch for any kind of changes in the pills.Consider a pill fully dissolved when the vinegar is clean (this does no include any remaining outer coverings).Lead a class discussion. Ask student the investigating Questions.At this point, student should have the ability to determine what kind of medicine to take (the shot) because that speed. For homework, as defined in assessment section, entrust students come write 3 suggestions of exactly how to do the medication work an ext quickly.


antibiotic: A chemical substance offered to treat epidemic by ruining or inhibiting the development of bacteria and other microorganisms.

bacteria: Single-celled microbe that have the right to exist either as independent organisms or together parasites. Singular = bacterium; many = bacteria.


Post-Activity Assessment

Short prize Homework: Assign students come individually answer the adhering to questions with brief answers. Evaluation their answers come gauge their comprehension of the subject. Tell the students: earlier (in the associated lesson), you regarded a short animated video clip on medicine being injected into the blood stream. Us then debated how long it takes because that the medication in injections, and in pills and also liquids, to generally take effect. Now, you have just observed an experiment to compare how easily various varieties of pills dissolve in acidic environments. With this information, you are now able to answer the first part of the challenge question.

Which pill type works the fastest? Why? (Answer: faster is chalk, then gel capsule, then gelatin tablet. This is since it takes longer for the gel coating come dissolve enough for the capsule/tablet to relax the inner medicine.)Which kind of medication (pill, liquid or injection/shot) functions the fastest? Why? (Answer: The faster is medicine injected with a syringe < a shot>.)Describe three suggestions of what you might do to gain medicine come work more quickly. Provide explanations the why friend think they may work. (Answers will vary. Possible answers: 1) move around because increasing your love rate boosts blood flow, 2) eat something due to the fact that this start the cradle system, 3) stay warm because this opens the veins more. All of these actions assist your body in absorbing the medicine an ext quickly, particularly pill/liquid forms.)

Investigating questions

How does medicine acquire into the bloodstream? (Answer: typical ways space pills, liquids and also shots. Medications that reach the stomach are damaged down so they can go into the bloodstream.)

How lengthy does that take for a pill to dissolve in the stomach? (Answer: ranges from 15-30 minutes.)

What walk this imply about those in fluid form? (Answer: Liquid develops go with the same procedure as pills once they reach the stomach.)

What happens when you get a shot? (Answer: The medicine bypasses the digestive process and goes directly into a person"s bloodstream.)

task Scaling

For more advanced students, have them do their own experiments instead of the course demonstration. View the safeguard That Pill activity in which students build pill coatings that can withstand the churning actions and acidic environment uncovered in the stomach. Teams test coating trust by utilizing clear soda come simulate stomach acid.

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The components of this digital library curriculum were developed under nationwide Science foundation RET grant nos. 0338092 and 0742871. However, these components do not necessarily stand for the policies of the NSF, and also you must not i think endorsement by the federal government.