Circulatory System: Where Would a Vampire Bite You?
Area of Science
Human Biology & Health
Circulatory system, blood flow, blood vessels
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
Video narration by Jennifer E Paz
Free for a limited time thanks to individual donors
OverviewIn this lesson, students will learn about the circulatory system and build a simple model to investigate blood flow in different types of blood vessels.
- Explain why our circulatory system (including the blood vessels and blood) is essential for our survival
- Describe the function of blood vessels in our body
- Assess blood flow in different types of blood vessels
For teacher preparation:
- Scissors (1)
- Water (enough to fill 2 cups per group)
- Measuring cup
- Pitcher or container for storing the water, or access to a sink
- Masking tape or permanent marker
- Red food coloring
- Two plastic cups, 16 oz. with a hole in one side
- One 16 oz. plastic cup filled with red water
- Water-proof marker
- Two straws with different diameters (a 2-inch long piece of each)
- Modeling clay
- Stopwatch or timer
- Aluminum pan or plastic bin (big enough to hold 500 mL of water)
- Printed worksheet
- Print out a worksheet for each student.
- Use the measuring cup to add 400 mL (1 ⅔ cups) of water to a 16 oz. cup. Using this cup as an example, mark the 400 mL water level on two cups for each student group with a permanent marker or masking tape. The mark will tell students the water level for the experiments.
- Cut or poke a hole in the sides of every marked cup, about one inch from the bottom. The holes should be approximately the same distance from the bottom of each cup as shown in the picture below. Widen the holes enough to comfortably fit the wide straw without squeezing the straw.
Figure 1. Each student group will need two marked cups with holes in their sides, about one inch from the bottom.
- Cut the wide and narrow straws to approximately 2-inch lengths; one piece of each diameter is needed for each group.
- Fill one unmarked cup for each group with red water. You will have to refill that cup once during the experiment.
- Place all the activity materials for each group in an aluminum tray or plastic bin large enough to hold 500 mL of water.