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Top Tip: Simulated Blood Powder Preparation


To make up the solution, introduce 500mL of hot water into a beaker on a
magnetic stirrer.  Add the powder and leave to stir until it is all dissolved.

To test for complete dissolution scrape a bit up the side of the beaker using a
spatula. If the powder is not fully dissolved you will see small dark spots in the

The sachet contains enough powder to make 1L of solution, but when I made
up a sample I dissolved the powder in 500mL and I thought the consistency was
just right.

When the powder is fully dissolved make the solution your desired consistency
by adding more water to a maximum volume of 1L.

To add ‘blood clots’ make a batch of port wine jelly and freeze it. Break up the
frozen jelly into pieces and mix with the artificial blood solution.

The solution is based on methyl cellulose so it’s probably best stored in the

This product is sold as blood simulant for medical training centres and also as
stage blood. Mr Vivi put a dollop on the back of his hand and it stained him for
a couple of days.

Here’s a brilliant, very easy blood spatter experiment you can do without having to pull special equipment together –>>



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Top Tip: inject the heart vascular system with paint

bovine heart with paint injected into the vascular system
bovine heart with paint injected into the vascular system
bovine heart with paint injected into the vascular system

Here’s a top tip that I first was given by a very experienced biology teacher at Brisbane Grammar. You can inject the vascular system of a heart with paint to highlight the blood vessels.  I had a practice yesterday and found it much easier on this bovine heart than I ever have on a porcine heart.  I’m not very experienced with syringes and needles, though, and there were plenty of labbies in the porcine pluck workshop at ConQEST that did a great job of it.

My tips for success:

  • Water down the paint a bit to make it easier for the syringe and needle.
  • Use a brightly coloured paint.  Red and blue is tempting but yellow, orange and green show up much more clearly.
  • Allow a bit of air to flow out of the needle into the blood vessel ahead of the paint if you can.
  • Massage the paint along the finer vessels with your finger.
  • Try not to tell the lady at the craft shop what you really want to use the paint for.  She will just look thoroughly disgusted and keep one eye on you until you finally get out of her shop.

I’ve also been told you can let the paint dry and see the highlighted vessels by cutting across the muscle and looking for the paint.

It’s fun!  Give it a go!




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How to get free teacher PD from Fizzics Education

science teachers workshop from Dissection Connection

science teachers workshop from Dissection Connection

Teaching science can be a tough gig.  There seems to be no end to the cool experiment ideas on the internet that you can try in the classroom.  But you don’t always have time or the confidence to check it out first and there is nothing worse than a science lesson that falls flat because the internet lied to you.

What if you didn’t have to ‘squeeze science in’?  What if you knew how to make science part of every lesson?

Fizzics Education offers a free teacher PD workshop for schools that book school workshops.   This is not a powerpoint presentation; it’s a bunch of experiments demonstrated to your staff that have been classroom tested.
We can also arrange this via video conference if time does not allow us to present this on the day of your school visit.

Miss Vivi has seen the difference even a quick one hour workshop can make to a teacher that wasn’t sure where to start with a specimen.  Let Dissection Connection and Fizzics Education give you a set of skills that will make you the best teacher you can be when it comes to delivering science in and out of the classroom.

Pop over and have a look at all the gory bits on their website and while you are there check out the other FREE resources they have for teachers.

Fizzics Education also currently deliver in-person science workshops into Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and also do Regional Visits.


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Top Tip: How to use live semen with digital microscopes and SmartBoards

microscope image of live boar semen

This Top Tip comes from Tamara Daus, Science Operations Officer at Kingston State High School, in August 2013.  Thank you, Tamara!  This is a specimen we don’t see enough of in schools and the collective wisdom of lab techs is the best source of info for others to learn from.
microscope image of live boar semen microscope image of live boar semen
images courtesy T Daus

Semen from Dissection Connection, new digital microscope… Movies worked really well too

I’m taking the semen into the first Year 8 classes tomorrow. We’ll be able to have the digital microscope up the front with the image on the SmartBoard for the whole class to see, and then the groups will be able to use their own microscopes to focus and check out their own slides.

Thanks Miss Vivi J

Got a Top Tip you are willing to share with other techs? Have a squeal to Miss Vivi and see your name in lights.