The heart is the most important muscle in the body. Without it, people cannot survive. It keeps the blood flowing through the rest of the body allowing people to function efficiently. Students begin studying the heart and its functions as early as elementary school and continue to study it on through high school. There are a number of projects that teachers can have their students do to better educate them on the heart.

Elementary Projects on the Heart

Elementary school students can experiment to determine how exercise affects the health of the heart.
Elementary school students can experiment to determine how exercise affects the health of the heart.

Elementary school students can perform simple experiments on the heart like how loud noises affect the heart rate and where on the body they can check their pulse. The students can experiment with caffeine and see how it affects the heart rate and blood pressure. They can also experiment with the effects of exercise on the heart. The teacher can have the students monitor their heart rate throughout the day and determine which activities cause it to increase. The teacher can also have the students create a model of the heart.

Middle School Projects on the Heart

Middle school students can experiment to determine how sugar affects the heart rate.
Middle school students can experiment to determine how sugar affects the heart rate.

In elementary school, students learn about the basic anatomy and functions of the heart. By middle school, they are ready to learn more complex aspects of the heart such has what factors affect the pulse and blood pressure. Does age, gender, temperature and body position affect the heart rate and blood pressure? Can an athlete recover more quickly from exertion than a non-athlete?

High School Projects on the Heart

High school students can experiment to determine how listening to a heartbeat affects their own heartbeats.
High school students can experiment to determine how listening to a heartbeat affects their own heartbeats.

High school students can perform even more advanced projects on the human heart. They can build a functioning human heart. They can also perform hands-on experiments such as monitoring the heart beats of a smoker and a non-smoker and determining the differences. They can also compare and contrast in heartbeats of humans and animals. The teacher can have the students compare and contrast heartbeats and BMIs of someone of different weights: underweight, average weight and overweight. The students can further experiment with how things such as light, music, stress and fear can affect the heart rate.

Projects for Science Fairs

Science fair participants can build a model of a heart to demonstrate how the heart works.
Science fair participants can build a model of a heart to demonstrate how the heart works.

For students wishing to compete in science fairs, the following questions about the heart can be investigated and answered. Does caffeine raise a person's blood pressure? Do boys and girls have different resting pulse rates? What is the effect of music on a kid's blood pressure? How does the pulse relate to the heartbeat and how does it differ when the body is in different positions? What are the best places on your body to measure your pulse? Do groups of people have different blood pressure readings? Is our heartbeat affected by music?