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Heart Health Science: Is Your Heart Really Heart-shaped?

February brings us both Valentine's Day and heart awareness month. That's two great reasons to take a closer look at the hard-working muscle thump-thump-thumping in your chest!

A Day in the Life of Your Heart

Heart Science Valentines Science

Your heart is constantly thump, thump, thumping away, working hard to keep oxygenated blood pumping through your system. But your heart patterns change throughout the day, speeding up and slowing down in response to your activities, moods, and routines.

In the A Day in the Life of Your Heart hands-on science project, students track their own pulse throughout the day, getting a visual look at how heart rate varies at different times of the day. Over a span of days, what trends might you spot and what conclusions can you draw about the way your heart works?

Here's a subject that will really get your blood pumping: the human heart. Did you know that an electric current generated by your body causes your heart to contract over and over again—2.5 billion times during the average life span? This contracting motion keeps your oxygen-rich blood circulating to every corner of your body.

Matters of the Heart

While Valentine's Day might have you thinking about hearts of the sweet variety, there are many interesting reasons to learn about the science of your own heart. We've gathered a few ideas below to get you started.

Ending on a Sweet Note

Because chocolate and Valentine's Day go hand-in-hand, here are two projects related to the science of sweets:

  • Temper, Temper, Temper! The Science of Tempering Chocolate: to make chocolate treats as beautiful as they are delicious, chocolatiers must temper their chocolate. In this tasty experiment, find out for yourself how raising chocolate to different temperatures changes its appearance or texture.
  • M&M Math: this fun science Project Idea introduces kids to statistics using bags of M&Ms. In honor of Valentine's Day, you might substitute boxes of conversation hearts instead! (To get inspired, read about one family's experience with candy counting and math.)

Show Your Heart Some Love

Your heart is an amazing part of your body, so keep it healthy by exercising, eating right, and not smoking. It will pay off in spades!

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