Life Science Curriculum K-7

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Submitted by: Terrence Greer

Position: N/A

Institution: Azusa Pacific University

Title of Experiment: How playing fighting (competitive) video games increases your heart rate

Materials Needed:

* Players * television
* Hands * watch with second hand
* Video games * a great smile and sportsmanship

Scientific Background of Experiment:

 Sure, you know how to steal hearts, win hearts, and break hearts. But how much do you really know about your heart and how it works? Did you know that your heart is about the same size as your fist? From the moment it begins beating until the moment it stops, the human heart works all of the time. In an average lifetime, the heartbeats more than two and a half billion times, without ever pausing to rest. The heart gives the power needed for life to us. Put your hand on your heart. Did you place your hand on the left side of your chest? Many people do, but the heart is actually located almost in the center of the chest, between the lungs. It's tipped slightly so that a part of it sticks out and taps against the left side of the chest, which is what makes it seem as though it is located there. Give a tennis ball a good, hard squeeze. You're using about the same amount of force your heart uses to pump blood out to the body. Even at rest, the muscles of the heart work hard&emdash;twice as hard as the leg muscles of a person sprinting. Feel your pulse by placing two fingers at pulse points on your neck or wrists. The pulse you feel is blood stopping and starting as it moves through your arteries. For kids, your resting pulse might range from 90 to 120 beats per minute. The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is almost the diameter of a garden hose. Capillaries, on the other hand, are so small that it takes ten of them to equal the thickness of a human hair. Your body has about 5.6 liters (6 quarts) of blood. These 5.6 liters of blood circulates through the body three times every minute. In one day, the blood travels a total of 19,000 km&emdash;which is four times the distance across the US from coast to coast. The heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime. That's enough to fill more than 3 super tankers. "lub-DUB, lub-DUB, lub-DUB." Sound familiar? If you listen to your heartbeat, you'll hear two sounds. The heart valves make these "lub" and "DUB" sounds as they open and close. When you begin to get tense and really into your character on the video games, your heartbeat increases. This is due to the amount of blood trying to push through the arteries. A picture of the parts of the heart is located below. The basic concept of this project is to teach students how there heart works and how to measure their heartrate. Also, it is for them to compare their heartrate when they are relaxing and when they are involved in a vigorous activity, such as their favorites, video games.


1. Gather all of your materials. Make sure the Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo is plugged up correctly into the television.

2. Insert the game into the system. Follow the directions that follow.

3. Remember, only two players can play at a time.

4. Take each other's pulse by using the wrist method, which was mentioned earlier. This will be your pulse at rest.

5. Begin to play the game.

6. When your game is over, take your pulse for the second time. Record this value.

7. After you have finished your turn, answer the succeeding question:

What do you think could have happened to make your heartrate increase or decrease?


Misc. Helpful Information/ Hints/ Suggestions:

When using this experiment, you must have a joyous heart, love kids and most importantly, video games.