Spring SAVY 2022 – Neuroscience 101 for 5th/6th Grade (Zeiger)
What a fun day of neuroscience this past Saturday! The day started out by getting to know one another and practicing our observation skills. Students learned how important pH was to neurons and how sodium bicarbonate transporters are used in the brain. Next, we began to learn about the different parts of the nervous system along with specific parts of the brain anatomy including the cortex, cerebellum, brainstem, and limbic system. Students used and thought on how to improve models of the brain as they explored the different lobes of the cortex. We built protective helmets for our “brains” using the engineering design method and tested them to see how they performed. Lots of brains survived the collision so remember the importance of wearing those helmets!
Our afternoon was very active for all our brains! We went deeper into the brain to learn about its specialized cell, the neuron. Students first investigated the parts of the neuron including the soma, dendrite, axon, axon terminal, and myelin. They created their own model of the neuron and as a class team built a neuronal circuit that moved a toe. We didn’t forget about the glia cells as students found that despite what scientists used to think glia are playing all types of important roles in the brain. Lastly, we explored how complex human neuronal circuitry can be. Our model neurons (the students) tended to have a little trouble with staying connected so we are thankful our real neurons are so organized!
My hope for your student is to keep those neurons talking as they learn more about the brain using the resources below. Brainfacts.org contains the 3D digital brain model used in class along with a variety of information on learning and new neuroscience research. The Neuroscience for Kids website is very kid friendly and has several cool experiments/activities for understanding.
Thanks for allowing me to teach your student!