Summer Career Connections Session 4, Day 4, Neuroscience 101
Day 4: Hello Neuroscience parents,
Not too much to report day as we dove into the depths of working on our final projects! But we did spend half of our day priming our brains to work hard with a final group activity – a “group contract work” activity. Your students were shuffled into random groups of 4 and given a unique assignment. See the assignments below. Each of these is an actual, real-life government request or concern!
- A group of local politicians is worried that screen time, specifically, scrolling through social media, has led to higher rates of depression and anxiety among teens in their town. If this is in fact true, they are considering placing a ban on when students can use their devices in local town restaurants, stores, and schools. But they aren’t sure whether it is just screen time that is wreaking havoc on the brain or the TYPE of screen time – is it social media? Does it matter what type of social media? Does the duration matter?
Can you develop a study to test the effects of screen time on teen brains?
- A group of local politicians has noticed a drastic increase in the amount of littering occurring around town. Despite their best effort to clean up the litter, it is still out of control. One politician suggests that perhaps people just don’t feel any guilt when they litter. Are there certain signs they could put up around town that would make them feel more guilty if they litter? Or that could trigger emotions about the cleanliness of their town?
Can you design a study to test what emotions are triggered in the brain by certain behaviors surrounding littering (or a lack thereof)?
- Government officials are considering passing a bill that would require parents to log the number of hours spent reading to their kids from birth to before preschool. Some government officials argue that kids that are read to before school are more successful throughout all of their school years. But others are skeptical – is it simply being read to that matters, or is it HOW the kids are read to? Maybe then the bill shouldn’t require parents to log hours, but rather, something else.
Your job is to help address this argument with a research study that measures exactly what the impact of early reading is on the brain. Your study will help decide whether this bill is passed, and what exactly is in the bill.
- There has been tremendous debate in this community over whether school curriculum should be mainly visual (pictures, diagrams, etc.), or auditory (podcasts, video, lecture). Some government officials argue that things are learned or remembered better when they are seen instead of listened to – others argue the opposite. Some argue that maybe you need them TOGETHER to get maximum learning.
Can you design a study to test the effect of visual vs. auditory materials on the brain (memory and learning)?
After lunch, we worked hard on our projects and took breaks to keep our minds sharp. I can’t wait to see the finished products tomorrow!