What's in Your Blood?

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Doctors often send a sample of blood to a lab, to make sure their patients are healthy. In this activity, learners make a model of a human blood sample with oil and red sugar sprinkles, and then test it in a simple centrifuge similar to how medical labs test blood. Centrifuges, made from a plastic bottle, string, and tape, should be used outside in case there are any spills. Step-by-step instructions are included with photos. Activity guide includes a "What's going on?" explanation and connections to relevant science concepts like red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and hematocrit, using helpful diagrams.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • small, clear bottle or container (empty spice jar or pill bottle) with secure lid
  • approximately 50mL (1/4 cup) of cooking oil
  • approximately 50 mL (1/4 cup) of red sugar sprinkles
  • empty plastic soda or water bottle
  • sharp scissors
  • approximately 75-cm long piece of string
  • strong tape


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Circulation
      • Health and Nutrition
      • Medicine
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Rotation Motion
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • 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