Clogged Arteries

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In this activity, learners explore how eating unhealthy food can damage a heart and arteries. Learners will create a simple model of an artery with and without a blocking build-up of plaque, using a drinking straw and paperclip. Step-by-step instructions are included with photos. Activity guide includes a "What's going on?" explanation and connections to relevant science concepts like clogged arteries, bad cholesterol, and healthy eating habits.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • drinking straw
  • glass of water
  • paper clip


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
      • Circulation
      • Health and Nutrition
      • Medicine

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • DIY Science Apps


  • , The Regents of the University of California, 2015

Funding Source:

  • National Institutes of Health Science Education Partnership Award, 5R25OD010543-02