Hormones: A Quest to Understand Bodily Functions

Did you know that the word hormone means “to excite or stimulate”? Well, that’s what hormones do to your body. These chemical messengers influence all your major bodily functions—from how tall you are to how much energy you have to how you respond to stress.

Your Mission: Use the Web sites below to find out more about hormones and complete the two activities. First, you’ll learn the basics about hormones and how they work. Then research different kinds of hormones and choose five you think are most important to the human body. Note: Don’t feel limited to the Internet for your research. Use books, magazines, and other resources along the way.

Web Links

General Info

The Endocrine System
Brought to you by the folks at yucky.com, this site provides a starting point for your investigation.

What Are Hormones?
There are definitions, diagrams, and links located here.

Specific Hormones

Endocrine Glands
This site offers information about the endocrine system, plus additional pages related to the types of hormones and hormone target cells.

Compton’s Encyclopedia: Hormones
Read a thorough explanation and check diagrams here.

World Book: Discovery School’s A-Z Science: Hormones

Links to the Individual Hormones
This is a pretty medically intense page, which offers extensive information.

Activity 1: Hormone Basics

Use the Web sites provided to answer these questions about hormones.

1. What is a hormone and what does it do?
2. What bodily system produces hormones?
3. Where are individual hormones made?
4. Why are there different hormones in men and women?
5. What if a person does not have enough of a hormone? What if a person has too much of a hormone?

Activity 2: Top Five Hormones

Research different kinds of hormones using the provided Web sites. Then choose five you think are most important to the human body and complete the chart.
Hormone Where it’s produced Purpose Interesting fact Reason for choosing it

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