Activity 2A: Delivering the Goods: Exploring the Job of Circulation Reversing Rube Goldberg Activity Suggestion

This activity suggestion describes how specific content might be taught to middle school students. It does not contain fully developed lesson materials, which we hope to develop under future funding in this content area. Any feedback on how you are able to use this lesson suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Your comments
can be sent to us at teachhealthk-12@uthscsa.edu.

What is the heart up to? How does it keep busy? How does the circulatory system work? In this activity, students are immediately engaged when the teacher performs a series of simple demonstrations to illustrate the function of the circulatory system, including the difference between arteries and veins and how an aneurism may develop. For example, a short water hose with a slow water trickle demonstrates the vein while an attachment to the hose will create a short burst and stop action to demonstrate more pressure in th e artery. Students are given a “Seen Through the Eyes of Really Red” passport which must be stamped as they discover the job of
circulation through lab stations exploration. Students have the task of traveling through a variety of station activities that delve into the circulatory processes taking place in the human body. The six stations are designed for students to evaluate various circulatory responses including blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow, etc. The seven station activities are: 1) the heart rate simulator, 2) effects of dynamic exercise on a stationary bike, 3) the cold and hot water blood flow reflex action, 4) what effects pulse rate, 5) the role of elasticity in vessels in determining pressure, 6) osmosis and diffusion, and 7) fatty deposits on arteries and the effect on blood pressure. Optional lab stations you may want to set up include, blood as a defense, create a cell membrane that demonstrates how killer white blood cells target the cell inflammatory response, create a 3-D hemoglobin model, and open verses a closed circulatory system.


Circulation, blood vessels, oxygenated blood, deoxygenated blood, pulmonary circulation, systemic circulation, oxygen transfer, carbon dioxide transfer, research skills

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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Inflamm-O-Wars: Silent Battles within Your Cardiovascular System
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 2: Delivering the Goods: Exploring the Job of Circulation