We were assigned to unclog a main artery using our research and knowledge about the circulatory system and surgeries used in real life. Unclogging the artery was the final assignment to go with the whole unit on the circulatory system. Our goal was to find a way to give space for blood to travel through an artery that contained plaque which blocked or reduced flow within the whole circulatory system. The project required us to put our own little twist in the way we determine what is best to continue a healthy blood flow.
In our project, we were given cake icing to put inside a tube which was meant to replicate a blocked artery. The replicated blocked artery was placed inside a refrigerator for 2 days to harden the frosting so it was more like plaque. While it was being hardened, we were figuring out ways to either give the blood another passage, or to spread the plaque on the outside of the artery so that the blood could flow better.
We taped two popsicle sticks side by side so they could fold over, and stuck them into the plaque buildup, creating a hole. We also used pipe cleaners to enter the tube from the side opposite the plaque buildup so that the popsicle sticks wouldn’t merely move the build up further into the artery. Next, we had a straw which we stuck beside the popsicle sticks on the side containing the plaque buildup, and blew, spreading the plaque further and around the artery, seriously thinning it out. With this method, we were spreading the plaque throughout the whole artery so that there was only a very thin layer on the outer part of the artery. After this procedure we pulled all of our equipment out which ended up creating leeway for the blood to easily travel throughout the body. We had the smoothest ‘blood’ flow, and the most ‘blood’ flowing by the end of this procedure.
To kick off the STEAM summer Olympics, we created name tags.
Next, we decided on our team name. We decided on “Mean Green STEAM Machine.”
To attend the opening ceremony, we needed to build an Olympic torch. We wanted to create a train-torch. We used 2 cups as wheels and another 2 cups to hold the battery and light, (the olympic flame.) The battery and light is also known as a simple circuit. We then put a wooden board in front of the simple circuit and cups and decorated it. We decorated it in green and we made a green robot-kind of face on the front to symbolize the green machine part of our team name.
The next activity we did was the volleyball catapult. We were worried we wouldn’t be able to make a catapult but we succeeded. Even though we didn’t get the cotton ball over the “net”, we made a really good catapult and it looked good too!
The last activity was the weightlifting activity. We were given limited materials to build our weightlifter. We had to hang a cup on a string that would be held up with straws. We thought it was not possible at first and we were freaking out because we only had 15 minutes to build it but we didn’t know how! Then it clicked and we were able to make our contraption. We held 31 pennies before our contraption fell. We got second place in the whole Olympic competition!
We had a great time during the Olympics and we had fun building together and discovering new things about science!
Here is a fun iMovie trailer to introduce our team.