Animal-Free Heart Dissection Activities

Get your students to celebrate this Valentine’s month by teaching them heart anatomy the humane way. Unlike animal heart dissection, virtual anatomy has all the tools to experience every orifice and function of an actual human heart, all without any discoloration or exposure to carcinogenic fumes. It also presents students with the opportunity to see the heart in action and all the vessels it’s attached to easily, which is something impossible to achieve with animal dissection. Ditch the heartless act of dissecting a non-consenting animal and give your students a legitimate science experience with these virtual anatomy activities!

VisibleBody

VisibleBody is perfect for advanced high school courses or university-level classes. They include a 3-D heart model that students can interact with and a lab to track the heart rate at different levels of physical movement. Students can visualize the heart in action or go deep into its layers to see the valves and more. Check out Visible Body’s walkthrough of their virtual heart here!

Biointeractive Cardiology Virtual Lab:

Give students real-life STEM career experience with this free lab that focuses on the heart. Students enter a simulation where they diagnose patients with heritable heart diseases, using simulated versions of real medical devices such as an echocardiogram, a pedigree chart, and an MRI scanning machine. This lab is a fun way to equip students with basic knowledge of the heart, heart diseases, and medical terminology.

Pocket Anatomy:

This is an app for all things human anatomy, which includes the heart! Install this for free on any Apple or Google device. Students can use this app on their computers or mobile devices, giving each student the opportunity to have a vast knowledge of anatomy and hundreds of detailed models right in their pocket.

MergeCube:

This is a cube that students can hold in their hand and watch the augmented reality magic happen on any device! MergeCube allows students to hold a beating human heart in their hand and turn it to study from every angle. The visuals and tactile features are perfect for elementary and middle school level students.

Wisc’s Anatomy of a Heart:

If you’re looking for just the basics, this free and interactive presentation is perfect! It shows the simulated pumping of a heart, helpful illustrations, and questions to test your students’ knowledge!

While these are only five great resources for heart anatomy, the options out there are endless! -Especially free ones. Make sure all your anatomy and biology teachers know of these heart hacks to help keep animals out of the equation!

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Have questions or need some inspiration on how you can rock your next organ anatomy lesson? E-mail us at [email protected].

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind