A System of Transport

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In this activity about the human heart (on page 5 of the PDF), learners work in teams to simulate the volume of blood moved through the circulatory system by transferring liquid into--and through--a series of containers. Learners will compete in a water relay race to model how the heart works. This lesson guide includes background information, setup and management tips, and a handout.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Marker or labels for tubs
  • Timer of clock
  • 6 tubs or buckets labeled A-F (5-liter capacity each)
  • 4 flexible plastic cups (soft plastic that can be cut with scissors)
  • 2 15-mL tablespoons for measuring
  • Graduated cylinder (100-mL or higher)
  • Pad of sticky notes
  • Pair of scissors
  • Paper towels
  • Roll of masking tape
  • Copies of student sheet (p.9)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Circulation
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Rate

Informal Categories

  • Games


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Tharp, Barbara Z. ; Erdmann, Deanne B. ; Matyas, Marsha L. ; McNeel, Ronald L. ; Moreno, Nancy P.


  • All rights reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, 2009

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC 9-58