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You may have heard people say that your heart is a pump. Well, they weren’t kidding. Your heart pumps blood 24 hours a day, everyday. There are valves in the heart that keep the blood moving in the right direction–either from one side of your heart to another, toward your lungs, or through your arteries to your body. The valves open and close when the heart squeezes, making a noise every time. We can tell a lot about how well your heart is working, just by listening with a stethoscope.

What You Need

  1. a plastic funnel
  2. plastic or rubber tubing

What You Do

  1. Put the tube onto the funnel spout. If it doesn’t fit well, you can tape it.
  2. Put the funnel over your heart and hold the other end of the tube to your ear.
  3. Listen.

Muy Importante!

Don’t push the tube into your ear.

What's Happening?

Can you hear it? Most people say that heartbeats sound like “lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.” If you don’t hear it right away, you might not have your funnel in the best place — your heart is in the middle of your chest, the left side is closer to your skin. Try moving the funnel around. As you get closer to your heart the lub-dub will get louder.

If you still can’t hear it, you may need to get your heart a little, well, pumped up. Try running around for a couple minutes. When you exercise, your muscles use more oxygen. Your heart starts pumping harder and faster so that enough blood will flow to your muscles to get them the oxygen that they need. By, now, you’ll really be able to hear your heart beating. Aaah, the sounds of science.

Bill Nye