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Summer SAVY 2017, Session 1/Day 2- Biology of the Brain (Rising 6th/7th)

Posted by on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 in SAVY.

We had another wonderful day in Biology of the Brain! The theme of today’s learning was “Invisible Biology of the Brain.” We talked about the components and molecules of the brain that you can’t see without the help of scientific equipment (so not technically invisible). This includes things like neurons, glial cells, synapses, and neurotransmitters. The students really impressed me with their desire to understand all of the details behind the neuronal networks in our brains. We also spent some time looking at cells using microscopes, though we were not able to see any neurons from brain tissue we saved from the dissection yesterday.

Throughout the day we reviewed some of the things we have learned since the start of SAVY to try to commit some of our new knowledge to memory (which, is what we are going to talk about tomorrow!). I surveyed the students at the beginning of class and asked the question:
 “Describe where the thalamus the located using the best medical terminology you can” which resulted in the following answers:
“It is somewhere in the back of the brain”
“Near the ganglia”
“It is in the circular thing”
“In the temporal lobe”
By the END of class today I surveyed the same question and got much more medically correct answers:
“Posterior to the frontal lobe”
“Ventral to the corpus callosum”
“It is in the middle, closer to the dorsal of the brain”

We ended the day working in groups to make stop motion animation videos (or skits) of how neurons act and transmit information to one another! We will present these mini-videos tomorrow. Topics for tomorrow include the REAL invisible component of the brain: memory and we will also discuss what happens when things go wrong in a healthy brain.

Dr. LaPointe

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