Teddington School pair achieve a heart-felt scientific first

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By Teddington People | Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 12:51

Teddington School pupil Archie Taplin and Dr Ed Hui, the school’s Network Manager, recently proved that scientific firsts are not just confined to Universities after they devised a way of using a real heart to demonstrate its pumping mechanism - something which until now has only ever been done using models.

The idea to use a real heart came about after Archie and Dr Hui were preparing for last year's TedxTeddington conference. They were inspired by the anatomical drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci, although the artist himself did not fully understand how the heart worked at the time.

Archie, now in Year 11, said of the experience: "I know that doing this experiment has given me a much better understanding on how the heart pumps than the classic dissection or diagram ever did. It was a fascinating experience and I would definitely advise giving it a go yourself - if you can handle a bit of blood and gore!"

Dr Hui said: "I’ve always known there were opportunities to do real science in a school setting, but to discover something so simple and dramatic in a field so intensively studied as the workings of the heart, was unforgettably exciting."

The demonstration could now be used further as the heart is studied in every secondary school around the world. Until now, there has never been a simple method to show it actually working in a school laboratory.

Their discovery has been published in the peer reviewed journal Science in School, which means that Archie is a published scientist before he takes his science GCSE.

TEDx is a locally organised event based on TED, a nonprofit organization devoted to "Ideas Worth Spreading". TED began as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago but is now much larger.

The next TEDx conference is on 8 November at Teddington School.


If you'd like to see the video of Archie's demonstration you can see it here.

And to view the pair's co-authored paper you can click here.

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