Science Sampler: Modeling the effects of drugs on the brainby: Georgia Brier and Linda Dahlberg

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The following activity teaches students about the neurobiological consequences of drug use on their brains and behavior. Students make clay models that allow them to visualize how drugs affect neural communication. If you’re concerned that this activity may be too advanced, studies have shown that even third-grade students with some knowledge of the circulatory and nervous systems are able to comprehend the effects of drugs on the body and behavior (Sigelman et al., 2003). This activity aligns with the AAAS science benchmarks on human organisms, cells, model making, and personal health.

  • Middle
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  • on Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:05 AM

Using clay or play dough students create pathways for neural transmissions and then use the clay to show how drugs interfere with and change these processes in the brain. An extensive chart is provided that explains how different categories of drug work to change pathways. Some of the changes are negative. This activity helps middle school students understand what drugs can do to the human brain through the visualization of brain activity.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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