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Heart and Lungs

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, Barbara Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Let's Continue: Pulse Rate

Prepare students to measure their pulse rates (heart beats per minute) by demonstrating how to locate a pulse points. The easiest and safest point to locate is at the top portion of the inner wrist. 

Have students practice locating their pulse points and counting the number of times they can feel a small surge or “beat” in the artery. Instruct the students to count their heartbeats at their pulse points for 15 seconds. 

Ask students how they could convert the number of beats measured in 15 seconds to a number per minute. (Older students should enter the number of beats counted on their worksheets and multiply by four to obtain the number of beats per minute. Younger students may add the value four times.) 

Older students should take the reading 3 times. Again, with younger students, you probably will want to direct the activity and measure the time.

SAFETY NOTE. Do not have students find their pulse in their necks.

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education