App Description: This medical app presents a 3-D model of a heart with realistic visuals and audio to teach the anatomy and functions of the heart. The model is animated, and can be rotated and enlarged to see the various parts. It even “pumps” like an actual heart. The app has comprehensive information on the cardiac physiology. The pins on the heart provide information about every aspect of the heart including chambers, arteries, blood vessels and veins. Both the exterior as well as interior of the heart can be seen by clicking on either option. In addition, the app also shows the flow of blood and electrical signals of the heart.
How We Use It: At the Children’s Museum of Houston, we use this app in the Power Science Lab in Power Play for any activity that involves the functions of a heart. Often there are activities such as model of a heart, how fat affects the arteries, how the blood flows, what happens to blood in clogged arteries etc. This app can illustrate all of these concepts.
Our facilitators use this app as an extension of the Power Science Lab activities to show a 3-D visual of what the heart looks like and how it functions. The visual model shows kids how the heart beats, and starts a discussion about what their own hearts must look like. The Outreach Program at the Children’s Museum of Houston uses this app with middle school students as a visual reference before creating their own heart model (See Educational Outreach reaches new levels with iPads).
Lastly, the pins in the app point to the different parts of the heart and their related information. The app’s Glossary provides key vocabulary terms involved in the anatomy of the heart such as names of major veins, arteries, ventricles, chambers etc. This can be followed by using an actual heart model to identify the parts learned from the app. However, keep in mind the age and cognitive level of the child before introducing complex medical terminology to them.