An elementary class in Sioux Falls studied both sides of the heart for a week; the mechanical and the emotional. As Nancy Naeve Brown discovered they got up close and personal on both ends of the spectrum.
When the gifted students in 4th and 5th grade at Garfield Elementary Challenge Center found out they were going to learn all about the heart their hearts starting pumping a little faster. When they found out registered nurse Karen Bergstrom with North Central heart was bringing several pig hearts to their school for them to hold and poke and prod, their hearts nearly jumped out of their chests. You know not everybody gets to touch a real heart and when you do you won't soon forget it.
4th grader Jenna Becker says, "Once I flipped it over and looked at the inside it's kind of gross but still kind of fascinating because you actually get to see what the inside of a heart looks like. You can't just go out everyday and buy a heart."
4th grader Ellis Hope says, "It's not as bloody as I expected but it's probably because it's cooled down, but it was weirder than I thought compared to all the models I've seen. It looks more like steak, if you ask me, when you cut it open it looks just like a steak."
Cardiac Nurse Karen Bergstrom says, "I hope they will see the heart and I hope they will know how much heart disease is part of our country. I hope they will encourage good health in their families and in themselves."
Not only are they learning how the heart functions, but they are also learning how it makes them feel to give. The students collected all kinds of things to give to homeless family in Sioux Falls.
Ellis says, "It's for a mom and her 7 year old girl and 4 month old baby. We bought diapers, wipes, and hair scrunchies for the girl because she has really long hair because they can't afford a haircut. We wanted to spend money on something that would help the world and contribute to society."
One class, one week studying this incredible machine, and one family on the receiving end of kids who want to make a heartfelt difference and they are.
Ellis is hoping other classes and other schools across the state to take their lead and do the same for homeless families in their community.