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Spring SAVY 2022 – Neuroscience 101 for 5th/6th Grade (Davids)

Posted by on Monday, February 28, 2022 in blog, SAVY.

Today in Neuroscience 101, our class started by exercising our observation skills throughout the chemical reaction between sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, phenol red, and water. We learned a bit about the effects of pH on the brain and observed the pH change in our own reaction. As we explored a variety of physical and digital brain models, we learned the major brain regions and the aspects of our behavior, emotions, and thought they control. Each student had a chance to look at owl monkey brain slices under the microscope to see general brain structures and individual neurons. We learned about the importance of helmets and other brain protective technologies and behaviors to keep the brain protected from injury and trauma. Each student then designed and built a “skull” or “helmet” out of recycled materials. We tested our prototypes in a variety of scenarios to see if we had adequately protected the brain. I was blown away by the creativity and imagination they used in their designs! We spent the rest of the afternoon learning about neurons, neuron networks, and building our own sensory, intermediate, or motor neurons!

To extend our learning, I would suggest:

  1. Testing your reflexes!: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zpkhcj6/revision/3
  2. Create your own optical illusion or explore more here: https://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/riddles/illusions/index.htm
  3. Laurel or yanny?: https://youtu.be/yDiXQl7grPQ
  4. Somatosensory testing: https://www.brainfacts.org/~/media/Brainfacts/Article%20Multimedia/Educator%20Section/Olson%20Handout.ashx
  5. Explore action potentials at the cellular level: https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/html/neuron/latest/neuron_en.html
  6. Keep exploring this 3D brain model: https://www.brainfacts.org/3d-brain#intro=true&focus=Brain