What’s so special about my brain?
The Learning Brain: Neuroscience
Understandings about brain function in health, aging, learning and disease are growing with breathtaking speed. The Learning Brain project is developing and evaluating science teaching resources on emerging areas in neuroscience for use with elementary and secondary school students. Topics include brain structure, neurons and the nervous system, human senses and movement, learning and memory, diseases of the nervous system, and the effects of drugs on the brain and body.
The links on this page contain complete teacher guides, individual lessons on the brain, digital slides, video presentations and related content to enhance your instruction. The Learning Brain project is part of the National Institutes of Health’s Blueprint for Neuroscience Education program, and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Science Education Partnership Award program, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.
K-1: The Senses
Students investigate sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, and discover how the brain and the senses are connected.
The Learning Brain: Brain Chemistry
Students learn about the brain, neurons, chemical communication in the body, risk perception and how personal choices can affect brain function and performance.
Slide set containing information and images from the Brain Chemistry Teacher's Guide, for use in classrooms as needed.
Brain Chemistry: Pre-assessment
Introduce students to the brain and some its most important functions, and measure how much they already know about the brain and nervous system.View this lesson Download PDF
What is a Neuron?
Students are introduced to how messages are sent and received by neurons, and they build a model neuron.View this lesson Download PDF
Neural Network Signals
Students create an electrical circuit and investigate whether or not different dissolved substances conduct electricity.View this lesson Download PDF
Neurotransmitters Contain Chemicals
Students play a simple card game to learn the sequence of events in the transmission of nervous system signals.View this lesson Download PDF
Crossing the Synaptic Gap
Students conduct a simulation activity that demonstrates how multiple incoming signals influence the action of neurons.View this lesson Download PDF
Hormones and Stress
Students describe a stressful situation and how their bodies responded to it.View this lesson Download PDF
Drugs, Risks and the Nervous System
Students estimate the risks associated with different events and compare their estimates to the real probabilities.View this lesson Download PDF
Food for the Brain
Students learn about nutrients important for health by dissecting a slice of pizza.View this lesson Download PDF
The integrated components of the Brain Chemistry unit enable students to explore chemical communication in the brain and nervous system, while building a deeper understanding of the powerful effects of drugs in the brain and body. Unit materials are adaptable to a variety of grade levels and teaching and learning styles.
Legacy of Lost Canyon
Legacy of Lost Canyon is an engaging mystery adventure story that also teaches science and health concepts related to the brain, central nervous system and chemicals in the body.
Brain Chemistry: The Reading Link
Collection of ready-to-use reading and language arts activities directly related to the book, Legacy of Lost Canyon, both of which are integrated components of the Brain Chemistry unit.
Brain Chemistry: Explorations
Magazine containing articles and activities on topics including plants which stimulate or depress certain aspects of the nervous system, the structure of the brain, neurons and the nervous system, and more.
Explore BioEd Online’s library of video and slides related to the brain and neuroscience. All are free for classroom use.
The long-standing dogma that the brain of adult mammals is incapable of producing new neurons has been overturned. Explore the recent research and implications of this discovery.Video Digital Slide Set
New Hope for Fading Memories
It is estimated that Alzheimer's affects as many as five million Americans, and 26 million people worldwide. Learn about its causes and symptoms, and work being done to better understand and combat this terrible disease.Video Digital Slide Set
New Insights Into Autism: Part I
Learn about the causes, prevalence, impacts and treatment of autism in this research presentation from Baylor College of Medicine.
New Insights Into Autism: Part II
Explanation of the traits and diagnosis of autism, and current research being conducted to learn more about this disorder.
Rett Syndrome: The Continued Search for Answers
Learn about the neurological disease known as Rett Syndrome, including the causes, symptoms, treatments and current research in the field.
Sleep and Human Performance
When sleep is disturbed or of inadequate duration, we become less alert and attentive, and generally perform at a lower level. Learn about studies being conducted to understand these problems for astronauts.Video Digital Slide Set
Sleep and Daily Rhythms
The body’s “internal clock” and sleep patterns are strongly impacted by the spaceflight and microgravity. What can be done to counteract these impacts?
The Importance of Sleep
Daniel G. Glaze, MD, discusses the significance of sleep in our daily lives; and the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of common sleep disorders; particularly among children and teens.
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