Introduction: Heart Valve Science Project

This is a project I came across a while back, but I didn't have a chance to do it with a class. And I'm not sure if I will this year before summer vacation. So, I'm just going to do it.

We're going to be biomedical engineers today, and we're going to find ways to design and install a new heart valve, which will pump blood into the heart.

There are four heart valves in our hearts. Two valves pump blood into our hearts (Tricuspid valve - right side and Mitral valve - left side).

These valves sit between atrium and ventricle. Two valves pump blood out of our hearts (Pulmonary valve - right side and Aortic valve - left side).

The pulmonary valve (on the right side) pump blood into our lungs and the aortic valve (on the left side) pump blood to the rest of our body.

Step 1: List of Supplies

I just grabbed what I had. I didn't have any idea what I was going to do with these.

You don't need a plastic container. You can use a cardboard shoe box if you have one handy.

Step 2: Build Blood Vessel Walls

The cardboard pieces are the blood vessel openings.

We have to build something between the cardboards to let the blood (marbles) flow one way, but not back.

Step 3: Insure One-way Flow

Since I had popsicle sticks, I thought I'd use one of these to stop the marbles from rolling back to the original side (atrium side).

Step 4: Original Heart Valve Design

This design took more than four tries to get all the marbles across the other side, and the marbles got stuck under the slide.

Step 5: Improve Heart Valve Design

This design took four tries to get all the marbles across the other side, but the marbles didn't get stuck.

Step 6: Success!

Even though I rocked the container back and forth to get the marbles across, none of the marbles escaped back to the right side. So, the "valve" functioned as it should. But now, the challenge is to do it in less tires. To make a more efficient "valve."

I really like this project, and I'm going to try to do this with my class before the school year is over. I hope you get a chance to try this one, too.

For more project ideas, please check out my blog Kto6Science blog.

Have a great day!