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Growing Up Differenet
Teaching Guide
Williams Syndrome
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Part 1-Measuring Blood Pressure


  1. Why is it important for people with Williams Syndrome to have their blood pressure monitored periodically?
    (Most people with Williams Syndrome will have some sort of vessel or heart problem. A blood pressure measurement offers a "window" on the functioning of the circulatory system.)
  2. What do the two numbers of a blood pressure mean?
    (The first number (systolic) identifies the maximum surge pressure of the blood. The second number (diastolic) identifies the resting pressure within the vessel.)

Part 2 - Compromised Diameter


  1. Through which of the two tubes did you blow the hardest?
    (The straw.)
  2. Why was it easier to blow air through the larger diameter tube?
    (The larger diameter offered more space for moving air. Since there was less resistance, the air flowed with less effort.)
  3. If we were to apply this experience to Williams Syndrome, what would the straw and paper tube represent?
    (The straw represents the smaller diameter blood vessels that are often present in people with this syndrome. The wider-diameter paper tube represents the larger diameter of healthy blood vessels.)

The activities in this guide were contributed by Michael DiSpezio, a Massachusetts-based science writer and author of "Critical Thinking Puzzles" and "Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound" (Sterling Publishing Co., NY).

Academic Advisors for this Guide:

Corrine Lowen, Science Department, Wayland Public Schools, Wayland, MA
Suzanne Panico, Science Teacher Mentor, Cambridge Public Schools, Cambridge, MA
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School, Wayland, MA

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