The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. Your heart, which is slightly larger than a fist, helps keep your body functioning by pumping blood through blood vessels throughout your body. Since your heart is very important it safely resides in your chest and is protected by your rib cage. Inside your heart are four valves that help to ensure blood only goes one way. When the heart contracts it causes the blood to pump out into the body which creates a heartbeat. The average heart beats about 100,000 times a day and pumps roughly 2160 gallons of blood a day.
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
When Cupid brings out his arrows on Valentine’s Day it isn’t just our hearts that begin to change when love is in the air. Falling in love effects both your brain and your heart which can in turn effect other parts of your body as well. It turns out that love truly is a chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies. The four compounds; dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and serotonin (always present in our brain) increases and interact causing what we refer to as ‘love’. Being in ‘love’ also causes your adrenaline and norepinephrine levels to increase which causes the butterfly feeling we get in our stomachs. All of these chemicals are what causes our cheeks to flush, our palms to sweat, and our hearts to race. So this February, don’t worry about love being in the air… it’s actually in your head!
Become a Cardiologist!
Learn how to build your very own stethoscope and be able to check someone’s heart beat just like a real Cardiologist!
- Empty 2-liter bottle
- Cardboard paper towel tube
- Masking tape
- A friend or family member
- Cut the top off of the empty 2-liter bottle.
- Remove cap from bottle top and attach the cardboard paper towel tube to the mouth of the bottle with tape.
- Find a friend or family member and go to a quiet location to conduct your experiment.
- Ask your partner to locate his/her heartbeat on the upper left side of his chest using his right hand. Your partner should be able to feel it beating up and down.
- Now put the open end of the bottle on your partner’s heart.
- Place the cardboard tube over your ear to listen to your partner’s heartbeat.
- Switch places so your partner can hear your heartbeat.
Featured Girl in Real Life Science:
Dr. Grace Smith, M.D., FACC Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Akron Children’s Hospital
This month’s featured girl in real life science is, Dr. Grace Smith, a pediatric Cardiologist at Akron Children’s Hospital. Dr. Smith studied at the University of Michigan for both undergraduate and medical school. She has been working with children and babies with heart diseases for 13 years. Her more resent work has looked into understanding the correlation between learning difficulties and children with heart diseases. She hopes, in the long run, to be able to make the life of a child with heart disease better. Dr. Smith believes if you want to become a doctor like her it demands a lot of time and energy. If you remember these six things you’ll have the tools to achieving your dreams:
- Believe in yourself. Be brave.
- Be in it for the long run. Achieving great things doesn’t come from going the easy path.
- Speak up when you don’t understand something. Don’t think you are “dumber” than the person next to you.
- Work really, really hard. This will get you far in life.
- Learn to talk to people. Look them in the eye. You will make a big impression with good social skills.
- Show kindness even when others don’t deserve it.
To read Dr. Smith’s full interview follow this link!
What are you doing in February?
Explorer’s University: MICA Mosaics!
Learn about muscovite mica, a centerpiece of the Hopewell Interaction Sphere and a favored medium for prehistoric Native American artwork in the Ohio River Valley during the Middle Woodland Period. You can even try your hand at creating your own! Sunday, February 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science. Ages 8-14. $7 Member; $10 non-Member. Register here!
National Parks Adventure
Narrated by Academy Award® winner Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure takes you on the ultimate off-trail adventure into the nation’s awe-inspiring great outdoors and untamed wilderness. Through our five-story, domed OMNIMAX® screen, soar over red rock canyons, up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America’s most legendary outdoor playgrounds. Opens February 12th, learn more and purchase tickets here!
GIRLS University: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Discover the ways that Geospatial Technologies are used by different types of scientists to discover the effects of climate change, explore your favorite ecosystems, and to map archaeological sites all over the world. Learn to use state of the art technologies to create your own maps! Saturday, February 27th from 11 to 12:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History and Science. Ages 8-14. Registration opens February 1st.