SAVY 2019: Session 6, Day 3 – Biology of the Brain (Rising 3rd/4th)
Today may have been the busiest day yet in our Biology of the Brain classroom! We are now at the midway point of our week and today was all about synthesizing the information we’ve learned so far, while giving students the opportunity to further build on that foundational knowledge. We started class in the usual way with a group share, providing everyone in the class with an opportunity to discuss one interesting fact they learned yesterday. After a review of the six primary brain regions, we spend the rest of the morning rotating through 4 experiential stations: This is Cool, Do the Stroop, Memory Box and Tell Me About It. This is Cool demonstrated the importance of homeostasis in the body, as students moved their hands between cups of hot, lukewarm, and cold water, observing how their perceptions changed based on the temperature and amount of time their hands remained in the cup. Do the Stroop was an opportunity for students to learn about the Stroop Effect, as we learned more about cognitive interference and timed the class as they recited lists of words that were both congruent and incongruent, in terms of color and word name, recording the differences in time. The Memory Box station was completed as a collaborative class projective, as we tested our ability to remember images after being exposed to them for a short time. Our last experiential station (Tell Me About It) gave students the opportunity to learn about mirror neurons in pairs, as one student designed a structure made from simple shapes, then their partner had replicate it using only verbal directions. Our class really seems to enjoy hands-on activities, and these stations were a great way to help students learn in a more dynamic and challenging way!
After lunch, we took a long walk across campus to the Social Emotional Communication Lab in the Department of Psychology at Wilson Hall. Here we heard from a current grad student (Marcus Wild) about his research on emotion, observational research, and non-verbal behavior. The students had the opportunity to tour the lab space, see a two-way mirror in action, as well as observe the different ways we measure human physiology. Everyone got the chance to use Peak Flow Meter to measure their Peak Expiratory Flor (PEF). This is an excellent way to measure our respiratory ability and how well our lungs are currently functioning—the students got really excited to try it themselves, and see who has the strongest lungs in the class! For anyone who might be interested in learning more about spirometry, the link to a relevant Wikipedia page is included here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_expiratory_flow.
Tomorrow will be another full and exciting day— I’m looking forward to continuing our exploration of the brain! Please feel free to reach out with any questions.