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Spring SAVY 2023: Neuroscience Navigators for Grades 3 & 4

Posted by on Monday, January 30, 2023 in Uncategorized.

Hello there parents and friends of the Neuroscience Navigators!

Yesterday we welcomed your students to the wonderful world of neuroscience. The day started off with a big surprise, as both sections of the class combined to make one enthusiastic group of learners for the day. This allowed the students to get to know one another and made for a day filled with tons of friendship and wonderful group work.

We started off by playing some getting to know you games! Students were asked to think of two truths and a lie that their fellow classmates would guess about them. Then, we switched up the formula and played two lies and one truth. Students really enjoyed getting to guess about their fellow classmates, and it was clear that many of them found some similarities with their new friends.

Then, we dove right into the wonderful world of neuroscience. We asked the big questions, such as “why do we study the brain?”, and students provided some truly insightful answers. On top of that, they, themselves, came up with some great questions such as “What would happen if you removed part of the brain?” and “What is involved in a brain transplant?”

After this time asking big questions, we dove into the basic building block of the brain: the neuron! We discussed all the different parts of the neuron, from the dendrites to the axon terminal, and many students enjoyed the worksheet where they were able to keep track of each of these parts. We also watched a video that described how the neuron works, including the notion of event related potentials (i.e. the electric charges that go through the neuron).

After lunch, we did an activity where students lined up and poked one another from the front to the back of the room. This was to demonstrate how quickly electric charges can travel from one neuron to another at a massive scale. Students really loved this and ended up wanting to play more than once to see just how fast the class could poke so as to have their “signal” travel quickly.

We started to end the day with discussing and labeling different parts of the brain, as well as figuring out their functions in relation to one another. We also dove into the different types of matter that make up the brain! This all led to us concluding the day by figuring out who was more “left-brain” and who was more “right-brain.” Students really enjoyed figuring out what proportion of their personalities was one category versus another.

I am looking forward to continuing to work with these wonderful students next week, as we dive even deeper into the functions and components of the brain!