Saturday, March 8, 2014

Apologia Anatomy & Physiology Lesson 7: A Drop of Blood

While studying Anatomy & Physiology Unit 7, I came across a neat idea to illustrate a drop of blood, and show the basic proportions of the cells. Of course, it uses candy, which always makes school projects fun!

The four main components of blood are:
  1. Red blood cells
  2. White blood cells
  3. Plasma
  4. Platelets
As we learned, red blood cells FAR outnumber white blood cells! In fact there is only 1 white blood cell to every 700 red blood cells!

We learned that plasma is a thick liquid that all the blood cells 'float' in.

And platelets are sprinkled throughout the cells to help clotting.

First we gathered supplies. For our blood model, we used a quart sized canning jar, a bottle of corn syrup and yellow food coloring to represent the plasma, colored sprinkles to represent the platelets, Red Hots to represent the red blood cells, and mini marshmallows to represent the white blood cells. 

After pouring the corn syrup into the jar, we put a few drops of yellow food coloring in to give it a more realistic hue.

Next we added only a couple mini marshmallows for the white blood cells, but poured almost the entire bag of Red Hots into the jar!

We added our "platelet" sprinkles, and stirred it all up.

The finished product was really neat to look at, and the kids had a great time explaining all the facts that they learned about blood. (and eating the leftover candies!)

It stayed on our kitchen table for a few days and held up pretty well, generating many interesting conversations! 

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