Urinary System

Take a look at the urinary system, and get support from time-saving resources to help you teach this elaborate system and its functions.

Unless they’re on a long car trip or cross-country flight, most people don’t give their urinary system a second thought. They should, though. A fully functioning urinary system is necessary for an active, healthy life. The system filters extra water and waste products, such as salts and proteins, from the blood to help maintain proper fluid balance inside the body. This waste is then excreted in the form of urine.

Additional Reading: It Takes Guts to Teach A&P

For a look at the structures and functions of the urinary system, download our free infographic that details the organs in the system and the specifics of kidney function.

Urinary System Infographic

Workhorses of the urinary system

The kidneys are the workhorses of the urinary system and have been compared to water filters. In a typical human, the kidneys filter 45 gallons of blood a day—that’s 1/2 cup of blood per minute! How is this accomplished? Each kidney has approximately 1.5 million nephrons, infiltrated by blood vessels for the exchange of waste. Researchers have estimated that a person only needs about 300,000 working nephrons to filter blood adequately. That’s why you can live normally with just one kidney.

Studying kidney structure

We offer a human kidney model, a human kidney, nephron, and renal corpuscle model, and a urogenital comparative model showing both male and female anatomy.

For a hands-on examination, try a Carolina’s Perfect Solution® pig kidney dissection with the aid of our dissection mat. It provides students with a safe, successful dissection experience and frees up your time for questions.

Have students explore the histology of the kidney with our prepared mammal kidney microscope slides that facilitate understanding of the detailed microscopic structures and processes.

Simulating the kidney filtration process

Beyond kidney anatomy, students can simulate the kidney filtration process to enhance their understanding of the urinary system. Download the free activity “Developing and Analyzing Urine Samples as a Model of Kidney Function.”

Specimen cups for urinalysis with test strips.

Other activities to engage students in the skills of performing a urinalysis include our Modeling Kidney Function Kit and Urinalysis and Examination Kit. When it comes time for a laboratory practical, you can make your own test cases with our simulated urine to ensure your students know the content.

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