Irchester news: Dissecting a Heart!

Last week, year 5 and 6 completed an experiment about hearts. Not using picture in a heart2book, or a model out of plastic, but a real lamb heart! We wondered where the teachers got the hearts: we discovered you can actually get them from the supermarket, because you can cook and eat them. We didn’t do that though; instead we took some inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci and very carefully drew and labelled a sketch of the outside of the heart. It looked like a lump of meat yet it had holes through the middle of it, lots of white, fatty bits and a few tubes hanging off the top.

Leonardo da Vinci’s heart sketch

Then we carefully cut the hearts open with scissors to look inside: and even though they were disgusting it was quite interesting! The heart felt stiff on the outside and squidgy in the middle. Inside we could see some tubes coming out of the top; they are called the Aorta and Vena Cava. There were also lots of little tubes called capillaries running all through the heart meat (which is muscle), and big spaces inside the heart called  the atrium and ventricle. These are the bits which fill with blood and pump it round the body.  We also spotted some white stringy bits, they are called the heartstrings. It is a saying that sad stories “pull on the heartstrings”, but they are really there to hold the valves in the right places.


Jamie and his poster


When we heard that we were going to dissect a heart, Charlotte was really excited, because she loves the gross things about science. James was worried at first, but loved the experiment because it was really interesting. And Jamie was so interested in what he saw, he went home and did lots of research to make this amazing poster!


By James and Charlotte

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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