Science: Watching A Beating Heart


     As we worked through our unit on Human Body Systems, I found a super-easy and super-affordable activity - always a winner for me! - to help us understand the work of the circulatory system.
     I purchased a bag of marshmallows (yes, we're going to eat them) and a box of toothpicks.  That's it! We washed hands and put down a clean tissue/napkin/paper towel on each desk.  I passed out the marshmallows and toothpicks.  I firmly cautioned students about using the toothpicks carefully and appropriately. 
     Students pushed the toothpick about halfway into the marshmallow and placed this "apparatus" on the inside of their wrist.  This took some serious calming down and getting quiet to keep the apparatus in place!  The point is to see the toothpick "jiggle" or "bump" with each heart beat. 
     Results were mixed.  Some students had to hunt around for a good spot on their wrist.  Once we got going, I timed 15 seconds while students counted their heart beats.  We multiplied by four to approximate our heart rate per minute.
     As you can see from the pictures, I used large marshmallows.  We wondered whether smaller marshmallows might yield different results - would it be easier to see the jiggles?  My students would really like to try it out!


 Have you tried this or a similar activity?  I'd love to hear your comments!
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27 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. u like cheese or chess? PS. WHO WHAT IN THE WHERE NOW???

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  2. does small marsh mellows work

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  3. Thank you so much. My students will love this activity.

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  4. This will be so freaking awesome to do!

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  5. This project is going to be so cool!

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  6. does this actually work

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  8. can't wait to try it out!

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  16. "Science watching beating heart" I don't know what they're are looking, but I'm sure it is the work and grace of God to every human beings even these animals. Thanks to you, Oh God. See more about the Top Tree Pruning Spokane WA.

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  19. A very interesting way of using the marshmallow in your science activity, it seems that the students enjoyed so much.

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