Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Body Systems: Cardiovascular System: Components of Blood

This is a fun way to review the parts that make up blood.

Plasma
Makes up 55% of your blood.  It's a thick liquid that carries that transports food and waste.

Fill a clear glass/jar/beaker 55% full with corn syrup.

Red Blood Cells
Make up 44% of your blood (by volume).  These cells carry oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout your body.

Add candy red hots to the corn syrup, until the container is nearly full.

White Blood Cells
These cells are significantly larger than red blood cells, and there are far, far fewer of them in your blood.  These cells clean-up old blood cells and fight the germs that enter your body.

Add a few mini-marshmallows or white jelly beans to your concoction.

Platelets
These are tiny fragments of cells (some books will just refer to them as cells) are responsible for forming clots when you are cut.

Shake some non-pareils into your blood model.


You now have a cup of "blood".  You'll notice that much of it is liquid, but there's lots of solid in it as well.  You'll also notice lots of red blood cells with the occasional white blood cell popping up.  You have to look really hard to see the platelets - both because of their small size and because of their small numbers. 

16 comments:

  1. This is fabulous! What a great hands-on illustration for the kids. Thank you for sharing it with us. Can't wait to try it.

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  2. How long does the bottle last? I imagine the candies (especially the marshmallows) dissolve relatively quickly?

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  3. This looks great! I'm going to use this with my kids in our homeschool! Thank you for sharing!

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  4. um so can i use vegetable oil instead

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    1. Technically, yes, but that wouldn't taste good! I buy "lite" corn syrup & put into little plastic cups so each student can sample the sweet blood! Very memorable!

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