Have a Heart

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Your heart pumps blood throughout your body in one direction, around in a loop. In this activity, learners will make a model of one type of heart chamber called a ventricle. The model will require the creation of two one-way valves (as described in another DIY Human Body activity included in the related link at the bottom of this page), an air-tight pump, red-colored water, and source and destination containers. This is an advanced activity that could benefit from the assistance of older learners. Step-by-step instructions are included with photos along with safety recommendations. Activity guide includes a "What's going on?" explanation and connections to relevant science concepts like how a heart ventricle works and exercising and your heart.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • empty plastic soda or water bottle-about 500 mL (16oz)
  • ear syringe
  • 3 bendable straws
  • hot glue gun & glue
  • water
  • 3 large glasses (or tall clear containers)
  • 3 medium balloons (20-30 cm in diameter if inflated)
  • scissors
  • small knife
  • masking tape
  • red food coloring (optional)
  • funnel (optional)


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

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

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