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Create a Model Heart

Our heart is something that works all day every day, and we often don’t even think about it. Learn the mechanics behind how a heart works by creating your own model heart in this activity.

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  • What materials will you need for this activity?
  • Will you do this activity on your own or in pairs?
  • What do you already know about how your heart works?


  • Gather all your materials
  • Take 2 bottle caps and put a straw sized hole and small hole in one, and 2 straw sized holes in the other
  • Add food colouring to the water (optional), then fill the first 2 bottles 80% of the way full
  • Take 2 bendy straws and join them at the top and secure with tape. Repeat for the other 2 straws
  • Put the caps on the 2 bottles, and then put the straws through the holes into the bottle to connect all 3. The 3rd bottle does not need a cap
  • Use playdough on the top of the middle bottle (the one with 2 straw sized holes to make it air tight
  • Pinch  the first straw and squeeze the middle bottle and watch the “blood” flow


  • What surprised you about this adventure?
  • What was the most challenging part of this adventure? What will you do differently next time?
  • How is the model heart like your heart? How is it different?


  • 4 bendy straws
  • Tape
  • Playdough
  • Red food colouring (optional)
  • 3 bottles with caps
  • 3 cups of water

Keep it Simple

  • Learn about what gets your heart pumping. Count your heart rate (how many times your heart beats in a minute) while sitting still. Then, play a high energy game like tag or capture the flag. Count your heart rate right at the end of the game. Did it change?

Take it Further

  • Learn more about how your body works as you make a model lung