Life Support for a Developing Baby


Make a model placenta to investigate effects of prenatal exposures.

  • Create a model placenta and investigate whether alcohol and viruses can move from a mother’s blood to her developing baby.
  • Explore the effects of prenatal exposure to hazardous substances and pathogens that can cause birth defects.
Assembled kits
Materials to assemble 10 kits - includes all supplies, printed labels, and student instructions copy master
Materials to refill 10 kits

Kit Includes

  • Student instructions
  • 1 plastic cup labeled “Placenta”
  • 2 pieces of dialysis tubing
  • 1 tube of simulated “Mother’s Blood”
  • 1 tube of simulated “Baby’s Blood”
  • 1 dropper
  • Alcohol and Rubella Virus Test Sheet
  • 1 strip of simulated “Alcohol test paper”
  • 1 strip of simulated “Rubella virus test paper”
  • Instructions for Alcohol and Rubella Virus Tests
  • Diagrams of Baby’s Life Support – sheet of cut-outs
  • A Baby’s Life Support System – information sheet
  • Effects of Harmful Substances and Pathogens on Prenatal Development – chart

Also Required

  • Scissors
  • Safety goggles

Quantity Discounts


  • 1 – 9 kits: $18.95 each
  • 10 – 24 kits: $18.00 each
  • 25+ kits: $17.06 each


  • 1 – 9 packs: $147.95 each
  • 10+ packs: $140.55 each


  • 1 – 9 packs: $75.95 each
  • 10+ packs: $72.15 each

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Shop by NGSS »

Performance Expectations:

MS-LS1-3. Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.

  • Science & Engineering Practices

    Developing and Using Models - Develop and use a model to describe a phenomenon.

  • Disciplinary Core Ideas

    LS1.A: Structure and Function - In multicellular organisms, the body is a system of multiple interacting subsystems. These subsystems are groups of cells that work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions.

  • Crosscutting Concepts

    Systems and System Models - Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions — including energy, matter, and information flows — within and between systems at different scales.