This Valentine's Day will you be giving someone special a gift from the heart? Or will you be pleading with your Valentine not to break your heart? Perhaps you'll be the recipient of a wonderful gift, and respond with heartfelt thanks. Whenever the discussion turns to love, the association with our hearts is not far behind. Popularly characterized as the center of our emotions, the heart is actually an amazing and tireless pump. Hop on board, as we learn more. [Editor's Note: There is a more recent version of this article here: Human Heart.]
As you move your mouse over the cardiovascular system, clickable, labeled hot spots (such as heart or pulmonary artery) will appear. Clicking them will display a short article in the left-hand frame. Related images (a cut-view of the heart or a pacemaker) are listed across the top of the page. There are a couple of cool animations (a pumping heart and a flowing cardiovascular system) buried in the yellow left-hand menu. To wander beyond the cardiovascular system, use the blue vertical menu on the left.
Perfect for elementary and middle-school students, this article clearly illustrates the heart's chambers and valves. "We see and hear about hearts everywhere. A long time ago, people even thought that their emotions came from their hearts, maybe because the heart beats faster when a person is scared or excited. Now we know that emotions come from the brain, and that the brain tells the heart what to do. So what's the heart up to, then? How does it keep busy? What does it look like? Let's find out."
Tha-thump, tha-thump, tha-thump. Enter with your speakers on. The tour begins at the bottom of the first page (where you'll find a link to the Table of Contents) or you jump directly to the activities labeled Do, See, Learn, Go and Hear. Whichever route you choose, you'll learn about the anatomy and function of the heart. For a fun look at the heart's role in popular culture, don't miss The Heart Goes Pop.