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Re-Engineering the Circulatory System

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Photo: © Image by succo from Pixabay
  • Engineering
  • Health
  • Measurement
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Resource Type
Experiment
Subjects
Biology
Topics
Engineering Process Scientific Inquiry
Time for activity
60 Minutes

While designing and constructing solutions to problems is at the heart of engineering, in biology, many of the “problems” or challenges in living systems have been solved through evolution.

Sience S
Technology T
Engineering E
Mathematics M

Related

Sustainable Development Goals

Introduction

While designing and constructing solutions to problems is at the heart of engineering, in biology, many of the “problems” or challenges in living systems have been solved through evolution. By designing and constructing a circulatory system, you can identify the challenges of moving fluid to and from different parts of the body, identify possible solutions, and develop an understanding of the relationship between structure and function. Models have inherent limitations, and no model is going to behave identically to a true circulatory system. The power of this activity is in evaluating the model and how design elements link to the actual circulatory system. Below are some common design strategies that can offer some insight into this design challenge.

Key Objectives
  1. Engineering isn’t just about physics; it’s part of life sciences, too! Using simple materials, you can design, build and test your own system, and then figure out how to make it better.
Guiding Questions
  1. Where does blood need to flow?
  2. How does it get there?

Authors

This activity was inspired by the Pump it Up! Design Challenge from the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA. Moyer, Richard, and Susan Everett. Everyday Engineering: Putting the E in STEM Teaching and Learning. Arlington: NSTA Press, 2012. This book demonstrates ways various ways to integrate engineering into your science curriculum. Allison, Linda. Blood and Guts. Boston: Little, Brown, 1976. This book has clear, simple explanations about organs and organ systems and offers ways to actively involve students in earning more about the human body. Exploratorium Teacher Institute https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/re-engineering-circulatory-system