I teach every 8th grader in my district, and that equals 242 students in 8 classes. Last year, we embarked on a journey to learn more about Neuroscience when they were 7th graders. I started by asking them how many of them knew what Neuroscience was, and very few hands went up. I then asked them to stand up if they knew anyone that had Alzheimer’s, or dementia, or epilepsy. I continued on with Autism, ADD, or ADHD. I asked about depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. And then I had them look around… and in every class, every single one of my 242 students had stood up.
I explained that one out of every five people is affected by a neurological disorder, but since the brain is so complex and the field of Neuroscience is still relatively small, we don’t have “cures” for any of the conditions that I mentioned.
This year, we want to continue my students' Neuroscience journey! With the help of the Backyard Brains Muscle SpikerShield Kits, we plan to conceptualize, research, design, build and control our own Neuroprosthetics. Through collaboration with the team at Backyard Brains, we are piloting a project aimed at middle school students!
Not only does learning Neuroscience make my students smarter, it makes them more empathetic toward the needs of others!
These kits have helped my students understand more about the nervous system than I ever dreamed possible, but most importantly, they look at the world differently now that they understand the limitations of the human brain!
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