You’ve been to great parties: the host or hostess always circulates, chats with everyone, delivers tasty treats and drinks, and is happy to relieve you of your trash. You may have referred to an exceptional host as warm-hearted or big-hearted. Have you ever thought about how your heart is like the perfect host? Think about it . . .
A good hostess never takes a break, and neither does your heart. If you use the average of 80 beats per minute, your heart beats about 115,000 times a day or about 3 billion times during your life.
The consummate host has every detail and action coordinated so an event runs smoothly. Likewise, individual cardiac muscle cells are connected by intercalated discs that coordinate synchronized muscle contraction so your heart beats smoothly, through all kinds of activities and events.
Like a hostess with a silver tray serving nutritious (let’s hope) appetizers and beverages, your heart circulates about 5 liters of blood containing red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma to every cell, carrying life-sustaining oxygen and removing carbon dioxide.
You get the point, and students will get the point too with a downloadable infographic depicting heart anatomy, cardiac circulation loops, and an overview of the circulatory system.
The consequence of too many parties and too much party food and drink could be heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is as complex as the cardiovascular system itself. Coronary artery disease narrows the heart’s arteries, arrhythmias cause the heart to beat irregularly, and heart failure is a condition in which the heart is not pumping blood efficiently. These heart conditions can be visualized with detailed anatomical diagrams and EKG strips to help students understand the causes and effects of a disease.
Let us help with a free, introductory lesson on cardiac diseases. It includes labeled diagrams and EKG strips so students can become acquainted with cardiac pathology.
A multifaceted approach
Your heart keeps the party going, day in and day out. Understanding all the processes involved requires a multifaceted approach to teaching the cardiovascular system. Models are a good way to introduce and review the structure of the heart and circulatory system. Carolina offers:
A life-size, detailed human heart model that is dissectible into 2 parts
A complete human circulatory system model that is half life-size, depicting arteries, veins, and the major organs involved in circulation
For a more hands-on approach, have students dissect a sheep heart to investigate the anatomy of a mammalian heart. At the microscopic level, students can explore the cellular structure of the human aorta, vena cava, veins, arteries, and blood with circulatory system microscope slides. This is also a good time to discuss blood types and engage students with a blood typing activity using synthetic blood or Carolina® Blood Typing Cards. Everything is ready for you—just add blood and stir. That’s an easy recipe for learning.
Carolina has what you need to supply your classroom, facilitate student learning, and make your job easier. Ready to party hearty? And remember: every host or hostess deserves a gift. Give your heart some exercise and good nutrition.