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Spring SAVY 2023: Neuroscience Navigators (Stuckelman) for Grades 3 & 4

Posted by on Monday, February 6, 2023 in blog, SAVY, Uncategorized.

Day 3: Saturday, February 11

Hi parents and friends of the Neuroscience Navigators!

This week we finished the class strong. It was so great to have everyone back in class, and the students were incredibly excited to be back. We started the day by splitting up the two sections of the course so that some of Ms. Jessica’s students could learn about neurological disorders, and some of the students in my class could watch Ms. Jessica dissect some sheep’s brains.

Student’s really enjoyed dissecting the sheep’s brain, and found it incredibly informative. Not only did they get to watch Ms. Jessica dissect the brain, but they got to interact with it in a variety of different ways (i.e., microscope, worksheets, etc.). Similarly, many of the students were intrigued by how the brain can be impacted by neurological disorders, as well as the various kinds of symptoms that can emerge when someone is diagnosed.

After lunch, we combined the two classes to discuss the ways that we create neurological research studies. We discussed different kinds of hypotheses, as well as the different steps that you have to go through in order to conduct an experiment.

We then played a rollicking game of neuroscience bingo. Students had to remember different things they learned in order to cross out different squares and get bingo. This was received very well as students engaged in some friendly competition to show off their knowledge.

Last, for the remaining period of the class (as many of you know), the students had the opportunity to work in groups and come up with their own neuroscience research study and presentation. Students really enjoyed creating an idea on their own that allowed them to think critically about all the different ways in which they could study the brain and how to influence its functions.

It was such as pleasure to get to work with students from both groups during the last 3 weeks. The enthusiastic and inquisitive nature of each and every one of them was always so present, and made every class such a wonderful time. I hope you continue to engage your students in SAVY opportunities that allow them to expand their knowledge and passion for learning.

Day 2: Saturday, February 4

Hi parents and friends of the Neuroscience Navigators!

I was so excited to have everyone back this week, and to dive back into the world of the brain. We started the day by reviewing some of the things we learned last week. Unsurprisingly, every student was able to remember the various components of the neuron, as well as the difference between left brain and right brain individuals.

After this review, we went right into a discussion on the role of memory in the brain, what the different kinds of memories are (i.e., short-term vs. long-term), and tested our short-term memories by memorizing a word set and seeing if we could remember it after a delay.

Due to a conflict, we had a guest teacher this week named Dr. Stack who was able to fill in for me while I was away. She had a wonderful time with the students finishing up the memory portion of the class, and telling them all about how our brain can be emotional.

After Dr. Stack arrived, the students engaged in a personal writing activity where they got to write everything they remembered doing after they got home from school on Friday. We asked them to go as detailed as possible to truly try and engage their long-term memory and see what exactly they were able to recall.

After this, the students engaged in a brief discussion on how our memories turn into behaviors in our brains. Then we began a discussion on how our brain functions as the key in controlling and determining our emotional state. This included a discussion of the different kinds of emotions, the parts of the brain that controls emotions (the Limbic System), as well as a discussion of how emotions in our brain change as we grow older.

To end the day, the students engaged in activity all about the Disney/Pixar movie Inside Out. After watching several clips of the movie, students were tasked with figuring out all the ways the movie connects to what we learned so far about neuroscience. Students truly enjoyed the activity, as they truly demonstrated a clear understanding of the fundamental components of neuroscience and the ways it was translated in this wonderful movie.

I am looking forward to finishing strong with the students next week and discussing various ways we research in neuroscience!

Day 1: Saturday, January 28

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