Did you know the human heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day? But how does a heart work? With this simple model of a pumping heart, you’re about to find out!
This human heart model activity is from The Human Body Family Unit Study. In the unit study, we learn about the human body’s major systems through hands-on activities, interesting facts and discussion questions, math and literacy enrichment questions, and so much more.
Want to see more? Grab these FREE Human Body Playdough Mats and sample from The Human Body Family Unit Study right here:
How Does a Heart Work? Science Experiment
I originally found this idea on Science Sparks, a site filled with wonderful science activities for kids. I simplified the materials a bit to make this activity nice and easy to do in your homeschool.
Let’s get into it!
- 2 balloons
- 2 straws
- a mason jar
- shallow bowl
- tape (optional)
- elastic (optional)
To make this model of the human heart, start by filling a mason jar about 1/3 of the way full with water.
Next, cut the mouth part off of a balloon and discard it. Stretch the remaining balloon piece over the mason jar so it is taught at the top. You may need to secure the balloon with an elastic and/or tape around the mouth of the jar.
Poke two small holes in the stretched balloon so one straw can be inserted in each hole. You can do this by taking tiny snips with your scissors.
Next, tape a full balloon around one of the straws. You want the tape to be nice and secure so no air can get out of the balloon, but you also need to ensure you are not pinching the straw shut as you tape it. If you have a water balloon, the smaller balloon size works perfectly for this!
Finally, insert the straw with the balloon taped on the end into one of the holes you made (balloon end up) and the plain straw into the other hole, then place your human heart model in a shallow bowl.
Now, you can watch your heart pump the water out of the jar! Press your finger down and up, down and up, right in the middle of the taut balloon between the two straws. Keep it methodical, and watch that heart pump the water out of the jar!
So, How Does a Heart Work?
So, how does this model relate to a human heart? Your heart is a very important part of your body as its job is to send your blood all throughout your body. This blood makes sure that your body has the nutrition and oxygen that it needs. The heart works as a pump to get blood sent out to all parts of your body.
There are really two pumps inside your heart, and each one has an opposite role. The right side of your heart gets blood from your body and pumps it into your lungs to be refilled with oxygen. The left side of your heart gets the reoxygenated blood from your lungs and pumps it to the rest of your body.
The beating of your heart makes it work like a pump. Just as the model you made will not pump out the water without your pushing on the balloon, your heart will not pump out your blood without beating or squeezing.
It is very important to keep our hearts healthy. Do some research to find out ways that you can keep your heart healthy. How does what you found relate to how the heart pump model works?
I hope you enjoyed making your model of a human heart and seeing how a heart can pump blood throughout the body!
The Human Body Family Unit Study
For a complete, engaging, hands-on unit study all about the human body, check out The Human Body Family Unit Study right here: https://shop.howweelearn.com/products/family-unit-study-the-human-body
Thank you so much for reading, my friend!