Hearts lay splayed on the tables and the smell of formaldehyde hung in the air of Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Centerâ€™s historical cabin on Saturday afternoon â€“â€“Â it was a celebration of Valentineâ€™s Day.
Nebraska Boy Scouts â€œoo-ed and awedâ€ as their latex-gloved hands explored fetal pigâ€™s heartsâ€™ chambers and valves, guided by members of CSUâ€™s Biomedical Student Association (BSA) during the organizationâ€™s annual Heartbreakers heart dissection.
â€œIt was awesome,â€ said Hunter Reil, 9. â€œ(The heart) felt like rubber.â€
Hunterâ€™s brother, Parker Reil, 10, said the hearts were really slimy and smelled â€œlike latex gloves and weird water.â€
Flyers and visual aids were utilized to educate children on heart facts â€“â€“Â blood pressure, exercise tips and more.
Sam Murray, BSAâ€™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, BSAâ€™s members were animated throughout the experience.
â€œThe kids love it (and) are so enthusiastic,â€ said Emily Swanson Parker, BSA member and junior biomedical sciences major. â€œThey really just brighten my day.â€
Freshman BSA student Sasha Mintz, said this was her first time participating in the Heartbreakers event and that her passion stems from being â€œreally interested in the heart.â€
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 museumâ€™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 firstname.lastname@example.org.