Students learn about the heart and its role at the center of the human cardiovascular system. In the associated activity, students play out a scenario in which they are biomedical engineers asked to design artificial hearts. They learn about the path of blood flow through the heart and use that knowledge to evaluate designs of artificial hearts on the market.
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standard Network (ASN), a project of JES & Co. (www.jesandco.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
Click on the standard groupings to explore this hierarchy as it applies to this document.
- International Technology and Engineering Educators Association: Technology
- L. Inventions and innovations are the results of specific, goal-directed research. (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- H. The design process includes defining a problem, brainstorming, researching and generating ideas, identifying criteria and specifying constraints, exploring possibilities, selecting an approach, developing a design proposal, making a model or prototype, testing and evaluating the design using specifications, refining the design, creating or making it, and communicating processes and results. (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- J. Technological problems must be researched before they can be solved. (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- Michigan: Science
- Analyze how science and society interact from a historical, political, economic, or social perspective. (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- Analyze the body’s response to medical interventions such as organ transplants, medicines, and inoculations. (recommended) (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- Identify the general functions of the major systems of the human body (digestion, respiration, reproduction, circulation, excretion, protection from disease, and movement, control, and coordination) and describe ways that these systems interact with each other. (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- Compare the structure and function of a human body system or subsystem to a nonliving system (e.g., human joints to hinges, enzyme and substrate to interlocking puzzle pieces). (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- Trace the path of blood through the human heart.
- Describe the general size, location and function of the heart, and compare that to artificial heart models.
- Discuss their opinions of how the invention of the artificial heart impacts society.
- Describe the engineering design process and give an example of each step.
Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers
- No negative comments allowed.
- Encourage wild ideas.
- Record all ideas.
- Build on the ideas of others.
- Stay focused on the topic.
- Allow only one conversation at a time.
|aorta:||The biggest and longest artery. It carries oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle of the heart to the body.|
|aortic valve:||The flaps between the left ventricle and aorta. When the ventricle contracts, the valve opens, causing blood to rush into the aorta. When the ventricle relaxes, the valves close.|
|artery:||A blood vessel carrying blood away from the heart.|
|brainstorming:||A method of shared problem solving in which all members of a group quickly and spontaneously contribute many ideas.|
|coronary artery:||The arteries that are the first to branch off the aorta and supply blood to the heart tissue.|
|engineering design process:||A decision-making process used by engineers. Combines an understanding of basic sciences, mathematics and engineering sciences to use available resources to meet a desired goal, usually resulting in a product.|
|inferior vena cava:||A large vein that carries oxygen-poor blood to the right atrium from the lower half of the body.|
|left atrium:||The left upper chamber of the heart. It receives oxygen-rich blood from the lungs via the pulmonary vein.|
|left ventricle:||The left lower chamber of the heart. It pumps the blood through the aortic valve into the aorta.|
|mitral valve:||The valve between the left atrium and the left ventricle. It prevents the back-flow of blood from the ventricle to the atrium.|
|prototype:||A first attempt or early model of a new product or creation. Used to test aspects of it. May be revised many times.|
|pulmonary artery:||The blood vessel that carries oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle of the heart to the lungs.|
|pulmonary valve:||The flaps between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery. When the ventricle contracts, the valve opens, causing blood to rush into the pulmonary artery. When the ventricle relaxes, the valves close.|
|pulmonary vein:||The blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the left atrium of the heart.|
|right atrium:||The right upper chamber of the heart. It pumps the blood into the pulmonary artery.|
|right ventricle:||The right lower chamber of the heart. It pumps the blood into the pulmonary artery.|
|superior vena cava:||A large vein that carries oxygen-poor blood to the right atrium from the upper parts of the body.|
|tricuspid valve:||The flaps between the right atrium and the right ventricle. It is composed of three leaf-like parts and prevents the back-flow of blood from the ventricle to the atrium.|
|vein:||A blood vessel carrying blood to the heart.|
- Artificial Heart Design Challenge - Students act as biomedical engineers designing artificial hearts and follow the engineering design process steps to learn about the human cardiovascular system and the functions and materials best suited to created replacement organs.
- left atrium, left ventricle, lungs, right atrium, right ventricle, body
- right atrium, right ventricle, lungs, left atrium, left ventricle, body
- left atrium, left ventricle, right atrium, right ventricle, lungs, body
- right atrium, lungs, right ventricle, left atrium, body, left ventricle
- pulmonary artery
- pulmonary vein
- superior vena cava
- the aorta
Lesson Extension Activities
Additional Multimedia Support
Mayo Patient on Artificial Heart Receives Heart Transplant: Charles Okeke was first in U.S. to go home with artificial heart. Published February 4, 2011. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Accessed July 25, 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2011-sct/6166.html
Heart Assist Devices. April 2006. The Texas Heart Institute. Accessed July 25, 2011. http://texasheart.org/Research/Devices/
Chapter 4: Blood Vessels and Aging: The Rest of The Journey. Published April 2005. Last updated November 22, 2011. Aging Hearts and Arteries: A Scientific Quest, Health & Aging, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed July 25, 2011. http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/aging-hearts-and-arteries-scientific-quest/chapter-4-blood-vessels-and-aging-rest
It's All about Engineering! Engineering Context Suggestions for TeachEngineering Lessons and Activities. Posted 2011. TeachEngineering - Resources for K-12. Accessed July 21, 2011. (diagram comparing scientific method to engineering design process) https://www.teachengineering.org/documents/ItsAllAboutEngineering3.pdf
Other Related Information
Angela D. Kolonich
© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2012 Michigan State University
Bio-Inspired Technology and Systems (BITS) RET, College of Engineering, Michigan State University
Last modified: October 8, 2015