Pharma giant Bayer has announced a new educational initiative offering schools free workshops on the cardiovascular system.

The initiative has been launched at the Baylab science laboratory, located at Bayer UK’s HQ in Reading, and will educate students aged seven to 13 on heart health and support teachers to deliver on the national curriculum for science in an “innovative and engaging way”.

The plan, dubbed ‘Heart Mechanics’, is a four-hour workshop that has been created to support teachers in re-vamping the science curriculum, making it more engaging for the kids. Under the initiative, young students will have the opportunity to create their own fake blood, use oximeters to measure heart rate and conduct experiments to better understand how the cardiovascular system works. Bayer says that it will also help students understand the vital role of the heart, its functions and the circulatory system and why it is important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The system “offers a novel approach to teaching schoolchildren about the heart and science in general” states Dr Klaus Witte, senior lecturer and consultant cardiologist at University of Leeds. “Cardiovascular disease continues to be a challenge for society and a major limitation to healthy ageing; therefore, it is crucial that younger generations are educated on the function of the heart and the cardiovascular system and how sensible lifestyle and dietary choices can contribute to overall long term health and wellbeing.”

The workshop is said to be specifically focused on the cardiovascular system, and is the latest topic in a variety of existing workshops available for schools. It’s also part of a broader initiative which will see the workshop offered to schools across the country and run a national science competition for schools to win science and sports equipment. Baylab has been operating since March 2017 but was officially opened in June 2018 and has held more than 200 workshops and welcomed over 7,000 students and 600 teachers to date.