Keeps on Pumpin': Your Heart

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In this activity, learners explore the great pump in their chests--the human heart! Learners will determine the amount of blood their heart will beat in their lifetime, their cardiac output (blood pumped per minute) and cardiac index (blood pumped per minute per square meter of body surface area). Extensions in this activity explore correlations between the heart rates of different animals and their body sizes or their longevity. Included are two links to live videos titled "Heart Transplant" and "The Implantation of a Heartmate." [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • copies of procedure
  • plastic cups
  • graduated cylinder
  • calculator
  • measuring tape or meter stick
  • nomogram (included)
  • clock or watch with a second hand
  • pitchers filled with water
  • kilogram scale


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Circulation
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Science Museum of Minnesota, 2000

Funding Source:

  • Medtronic Foundation