Feb 142010
Authors: Lexie Wissler

Hearts lay splayed on the tables and the smell of formaldehyde hung in the air of Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center’s historical cabin on Saturday afternoon –– it was a celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Nebraska Boy Scouts “oo-ed and awed” as their latex-gloved hands explored fetal pig’s hearts’ chambers and valves, guided by members of CSU’s Biomedical Student Association (BSA) during the organization’s annual Heartbreakers heart dissection.

“It was awesome,” said Hunter Reil, 9. “(The heart) felt like rubber.”

Hunter’s brother, Parker Reil, 10, said the hearts were really slimy and smelled “like latex gloves and weird water.”

Flyers and visual aids were utilized to educate children on heart facts –– blood pressure, exercise tips and more.

Sam Murray, BSA’s lead event coordinator, had kids squeeze tennis balls so they could compare that feeling to how tough the heart is as a blood-pumping muscle.

And five one-liter bottles of water were displayed as a visual of how much blood the heart pumps each day.

Like the children, BSA’s members were animated throughout the experience.

“The kids love it (and) are so enthusiastic,” said Emily Swanson Parker, BSA member and junior biomedical sciences major. “They really just brighten my day.”

Freshman BSA student Sasha Mintz, said this was her first time participating in the Heartbreakers event and that her passion stems from being “really interested in the heart.”

The Franz-Smith cabin, where the dissections took place, was built by a German immigrant family in the 1880s, and in 2000, was renovated and relocated to the museum, said Treloar Tredennick Bower, the museum’s Curator of Education.

Next year, the museum will hold the event again; however, it will be at their new location currently being constructed on the corner of College Avenue and Cherry Street.

Staff writer Lexie Wissler can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:24 pm

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