There are numerous science disciplines that require the study of blood. Whether you’re teaching physiology, forensics, genetics, or another topic, working with blood will allow students to see the biology and chemistry that is at work every day inside their own bodies. While many labs prefer to work with real blood, synthetic blood is an alternative that can give your students accurate, hygienic results without resorting to needles. Keep reading to learn more about synthetic blood and how to best use it in your classroom.
Teaching Students about Blood
Students at all grade levels will benefit from some aspect of studying blood. As a fundamental part of the human body, even the youngest students will be naturally curious about the purpose of blood. It’s a great entry point into basic lessons on physiology for elementary schoolers. Older students will love learning about the genetic variations of blood and how forensic scientists and doctors use blood type analysis to make a difference in the world.
Studying Blood Types
Students should be familiar with the ABO blood type system before they begin experimentation. The ABO blood type system classifies blood into four categories: A, B, AB, and O. The type is determined by the presence or absence of two different molecules called agglutinogens type A and B. Blood cells will also be positive or negative, depending on the presence or absence of Rh proteins. This infographic will help students conceptualize the topic.
Choosing Synthetic Blood
Carolina offers a variety of blood typing kits. This guide will help you determine whether synthetic blood, aseptic red blood cells, or user-provided blood samples are the best choice for your lab. There are plenty of reasons that you might choose to work with genuine blood samples. However, synthetic blood offers realistic blood typing results without the biohazard risks of working with the real thing. It’s also shelf stable to give you more flexibility when lesson planning. Another important consideration is that certain students may feel uncomfortable working with real blood. Synthetic blood will put their minds at ease.
Consult the video below to learn how to use Carolina’s synthetic blood in your classroom.
Carolina® Synthetic Blood
Carolina® Synthetic Blood has several advantages over other suppliers’ products, which usually depend on chemical reactions producing insoluble salts that precipitate from solutions. These products do not give visually realistic results. In actual blood typing, red blood cells form clumps (the agglutination reaction) that separate from the blood plasma. When mixed the appropriate synthetic antiserum, Carolina® Synthetic Blood forms clumps in the same way, for a realistic blood typing result. It’s the closest to authentic blood typing that you can get without using real blood.
Blood Typing Experiments to Try
Blood typing experiments will help students learn about these topics in a memorable way. Our Introduction to Blood Types Lab is designed to introduce students to the human ABO blood groups. The lab can be completed with either our aseptic blood cells or our synthetic blood. Consider creating an engaging role-play scenario for your class (such as a medical emergency or crime scene) to make the learning fun.
Another great experiment to try is our Synthetic Blood Paternity Test Kit. Students will use artificial blood to simulate this well-known medical experiment. They will be engaged by the realistic medical test. Please note that this kit is only to be used with synthetic blood.
Carolina offers plenty of other science kits as well, so you can continue exploring these topics and more in your classroom. From biology to chemistry to physics, Carolina has everything you need to create dynamic, engaging science lessons for your students.