Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Advaith. Advaith Wonders, “What is your pancreas?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Advaith!

Have you ever looked inside an advanced piece of technology? Of course, you shouldn’t open up your television, computer, or video game console for no reason! If one stops working, though, it may be worth taking a look inside. You might be able to fix the problem! Plus, you could learn all about how technology does so many incredible things.

You know what’s even more amazing than modern technology, though? Here’s a hint: you’ve got one. In fact, everyone has one! We’re talking about the human body.

The human body is way more impressive than any piece of technology. Your body is packed with so many incredible things! Scientists are still discovering new facts about it all the time. Today, we’ll take a closer look inside your abdomen. We’re going to learn about an interesting little organ that does some amazing things. No, it’s not the spleen—it’s the pancreas!

Where is the pancreas? It sits just behind and below the stomach. It’s a long, flat organ. It connects to the small intestines. The pancreas is special because it’s one of the few organs that’s part of more than one body system. For example, it plays an important part in the digestive system.

The pancreas releases digestive enzymes into the small intestines. These help to break down food so your body can take out the nutrients it needs. It also makes sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda). This neutralizes acids that find their way from the stomach into the small intestines.

The pancreas also creates important hormones your body needs. These include insulin and glucagon. These help to regulate blood sugar levels in your body.

How does the pancreas know how much insulin or glucagon to make? It might sound weird, but your pancreas has taste receptors. They’re similar to the taste buds on your tongue. As you eat, these receptors sense how sweet the food is. They release the right amount of hormones in response!

Your pancreas is just one organ in the complex system of the human body. What other organs would you like to learn more about? Take some time to find out more about how your body works today.

Standards: NGSS.LS1.A, NGSS.LS1.D, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

Wonder What's Next?

Join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow to see what kind of art the sea can make!