For a complete introduction and to get to know each Fuddlebrook story/concept, work your way across the main menu bar above. Have fun exploring, and please contact us with any questions you may have!

But that's not all. Check out the introductory video that explains why we created the Fuddlebrook School Science Series.

Resources

Given the heart's never-ending workload, it's a wonder it performs so well, for so long, for so many people. But it can also fail, brought down by a poor diet and lack of exercise, smoking, infection, unlucky genes, and more.

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It's January and that means cold and flu season along with a new onslaught of coronavirus. What can you do to avoid the dreaded snot, sniffles, and sneezes?   

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Recent News

February is the month we think about valentines, Cupid, and candy hearts, but on a more serious note, it’s also American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.  

The heart is part of your body’s circulatory system. It’s made up of the atria, ventricles, valves, and various arteries and veins. The main function of your heart is to keep blood that’s full of oxygen circulating throughout your body. Because your heart is crucial to your survival, it’s important to keep it healthy with a well-balanced diet and exercise, and avoid things that can damage it, like smoking.

Want to know more about this awesome organ?

  • The average heart is the size of a fist in an adult.
  • Your heart will beat about 115,000 times each day.
  • Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day.
  • The first open-heart surgery occurred in 1893. It was performed by Daniel Hale Williams, who was one of the few black cardiologists in the United States at the time.
  • The first implantable pacemaker was used in 1958. Arne Larsson, who received the pacemaker, lived longer than the surgeon who implanted it. Larsson died at 86 of a disease that was unrelated to his heart.
  • The earliest known case of heart disease was identified in the remains of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.
  • The fairy fly, which is a kind of wasp, has the smallest heart of any living creature.  
  •   Whales have the largest heart of any mammal.
  • The giraffe has a lopsided heart, with their left ventricle being thicker than the right.  This is because the left side has to get blood up the giraffe’s long neck to reach their brain.
  • Most heart attacks happen on Monday.
  • Christmas is the most common day of the year for heart attacks to happen.
  • The human heart weighs less than one pound. However, a man’s heart, on average, is two ounces heavier than a woman’s heart.
  • A woman’s heart beats slightly faster than a man’s heart.
  •  The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.
  • It’s possible to have a broken heart. It’s called broken heart syndrome and can have similar symptoms as a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease and broken heart syndrome is by a rush of stress hormones from an emotional or physical stress event. Death from a broken heart is possible but extremely rare.            
  • If you were to stretch out your blood vessel system, it would extend over 60,000 miles.
  • Heart cells stop dividing, which means heart cancer is extremely rare.
  • Laughing is good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system.

Read the fun Fuddlebrook story, Freddie Plays a Joke, to learn more. Then, watch our video that shows a heart model of a healthy and unhealthy heart, a model of a pumping heart, and a tasty treat from our sister series, The Quirkles®, entitled Yawning Yolanda’s Blood Candy, that demonstrates the four components of blood.

Here’s to a great and heart healthy February!

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With all the concern with RSV and coronavirus, the common cold has taken a backseat. And yet, as you read this, about five percent of us have a cold. Up to a billion colds a year occur in the U.S. alone, causing about 60 million lost days of school and 50 million lost days of work—adding up to $25 billion in lost productivity. To make up for it, Americans spend around $5 billion on over-the-counter remedies. Here are some cold stats:

  • Colds are the leading cause of visits to the doctor: Antibiotics are prescribed for more than 60 percent of common colds, despite the fact that bacteria are involved in only two percent.
  • A single cold virus can have 16 million offspring within 24 hours.
  • The velocity of a sneeze is about as fast as a professional baseball pitcher can throw a fastball – about 100 miles (150 km) per hour.
  • The longest sneezing bout ever recorded is that of 12-year-old UK schoolgirl Donna Griffiths, who started sneezing on January 13, 1981, and sneezed for 978 days.

You’ve also probably believed some of these myths about the common cold. They aren’t true so let’s put them to bed!

  1. Being cold causes a cold. Perhaps the most widespread cold myth suggests that exposure to cold temperatures causes people to catch colds. This is probably because colds are much more common in the winter, and cold air often causes a runny nose.
  2. Make the most of it. Some people believe that treating cold symptoms is bad for you because they help you recover. But research has shown that about a quarter of people who catch a cold don’t have any symptoms, and beat the virus just as easily. Furthermore, sneezing and runny noses do not eliminate the virus completely, as it is still reproducing in the cells of the nasal lining. In addition, the more you treat your symptoms, the less likely you are to spread your cold.
  3. Feed a cold and starve a fever (or vice versa). The origins of this saying are unclear. In any case, it probably is not a good idea. Eating well supports your immune system, and you need more fluids than usual when you have a cold if you want to avoid dehydration.
  4. Antibiotics cure the common cold. As noted above, antibiotics usually do not help a cold. Antibiotics work against bacteria, while most colds are viral. The overprescription of unwarranted antibiotics has caused our bodies to develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They may actually make colds worse by killing the ‘friendly’ bacteria and creating an environment more hospitable to the virus.
  5.  Coronavirus is just like a cold. Both COVID-19 and the common cold are caused by viruses. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, while the common cold is most often caused by rhinoviruses. These viruses spread in similar ways and cause many of the same signs and symptoms. A couple of differences  would be significant fever with COVID. People are having more fever a day or two, and obviously, if you get significant lung symptoms, bad coughing for a long period of time, any kind of shortness of breath, those things are uncommon with the common cold. Regardless, if you do come down with cold symptoms, runny nose, sore throat, cough, you need to investigate if it could be COVID.

There is, however, one cold myth that contains a grain of truth: Eat chicken soup. A recent study concluded that chicken soup helps the body clear mucus from the bronchial tubes faster and more effectively than other liquids. It does so because inhaling its warm vapors raises the temperature of the nose and loosens thickened secretions. According to the researchers, the active ingredients in traditional recipes also includes celery, onions, carrots, parsley, mushrooms, parsnips, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper. These are known for their medicinal and antioxidant properties.

Want to know more? Read our Fuddlebrook story, Snot, Sniffles, and Sneezes. Than watch our short video which conveys how quickly germs can spread and why handwashing is so important!

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What people are saying

This new series marvelously succeeds in introducing young students to inquiry-based, experiential learning of scientific concepts that are age-appropriate. Moreover, students have the opportunity to explore story-based scientific concepts further through hands-on investigations.

--Teresa, Biology Ph.D; former elementary teacher, Springfield, MO

What people are saying

The thing I love most about the Fuddlebrook series is the connection aspect. Not only have the creators connected literacy and science, they have also provided opportunity for exploration of all areas of life. The dispositions and traits of the characters are consistent throughout the books and lead to discussions about friendship, bullying, loyalty, honesty, and humility. Fuddlebrook is "teaching the whole child by connecting to life."

--Carolyn, First Grade Teacher, Ozark, MO