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My Pumping Heart

Grade level: Ages 5-10

Big idea

In the film Superhuman Body, we travel inside the heart to see how its valves work to control the flow of blood into and out of our hearts.

Activity overview

Using jars, bendable straws, a balloon and water (dye it red!), you can demonstrate how the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body.  Experiment with how fast you pump the heart to see what happens. Try to match your own heartbeat to how fast you pump the model.

Videos in this lesson


  • 2 bendable straws
  • 2 jars
  • Balloon
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Toothpick
  • Water