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  • Neuroscience for Kids
Benham's Disk
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In this activity, learners make a Benham Top to explore visual illusions and optics. This activity guide includes three different instructions for making the spinner using various recycled materials (old CD, margarine container top, cardboard). The site includes disk graphics (large and small) as well as a blank disk for learners to make their own patterns. The site also explains theories about how the Benham's Disk, with a pattern of black and white marks, can cause people to see colors. Note: supply requirements will depend on the type of Benham's disk you want to build; not all supplies listed are required.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Colors, Colors?
Conditions of Use:
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In this activity related to the famous "Stroop Effect," learners explore how words influence what we see and how the brain handles "mixed messages." Learners read colored words and are asked to say the color of the word, not what the word says. Learners use a data table to keep track of where they have trouble reading the colors. They analyze this data by answering questions and drawing conclusions. Learners can also take this test using the online version.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Susan Songstad
University of Washington
Depth Perception
Conditions of Use:
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In this easy demonstration (3rd on the page), learners explore depth perception by conducting a test with two pencils. Learners hold the ends of two pencils, one in each hand at arm's-length from their body. With one eye closed, they try to touch the points of the pencils together. They will discover this task is much easier to complete with two eyes open. This experiment can also be done with fingers, but pencils make the effect a bit more dramatic.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Simulation
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Keep a "SLOG" (Sleep Log)
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this activity (1st on the page), learners keep a "SLOG" or Sleep Log to study their sleep patterns. Learners keep track of their sleep behavior and the dreams that they have each night on the "Dream Journal Worksheet" and "Sleep Journal Worksheet" included in this activity guide. This guide also includes twenty questions for learners to consider when recording and analyzing their dreams.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Measuring Your Blind Spot
Conditions of Use:
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In this activity, learners calculate the width (horizontal diameter) of the blind spot on their retina. Learners make a blind spot tester using a piece of notebook paper. They use simple geometry of similar triangles to calculate the size of the blind spot.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Algebra
Geometry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
The Model Neuron
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this activity, learners create a model of a neuron by using colored clay or play dough. Learners use diagrams to build the model and then label the parts on a piece of paper. This resource guide includes extension ideas like using fruit or candy instead of clay. See the "Modeling the Nervous System" page for a recipe for play dough.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric Chudler Ph.D.
Eric H. Chudler
University of Washington
Neuron Chain Tag
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In this outdoor activity, learners play a game of Tag to discover how neurons attach themselves to each other to form a chain. The game starts with one learner who is "it" and represents the first neuron. When "it" tags another player, the tagger player must hold the hand of "it" and work together to form a long a chain. The game ends when all the players are part of the neuron chain.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Melissa Yoshioka
University of Washington
Neuroscience for Kids: Hearing
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

This collection of classroom activities for grades K-12 focus on the sense of hearing.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Geometry
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Game
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Neuroscience for Kids: Memory Experiments
Conditions of Use:
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This collection of activities and experiments for grades 3-12 focus on memory and learning.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Interactive
Simulation
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Neuroscience for Kids: Smell Experiments
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

This collection of activities and experiments for grades K-12 focus on the sense of smell.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Neuroscience for Kids: Taste Gustation
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

This collection of activities for grades K-12 focus on the sense of taste.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Simulation
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Neuroscience for Kids: Touch Experiments
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

This collection of activities and experiments for grades K-12 focus on the sense of touch.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Eric H. Chudler
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Our Chemical Senses
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this activity, learners investigate the olfactory system by conducting several experiments. In "CLASS EXPERIMENT," learners find that the ability to detect an odor decreases with continued exposure to that odor, a property called olfactory fatigue. They learn basic facts about sensory receptors, nerve connections, and brain areas, and discover what conditions can affect olfactory fatigue. In "TRY YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT," learners design experiments to further explore the sense of smell. For example, they can investigate whether mixing two substances makes it harder to identify odors; whether gender affects the ability to identify odors, and whether people vary in their ability to match unlabeled containers of odor materials. This lesson plan includes background information, tips for educators and separate guides for educators and learners.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Marjorie A. Murray
Marjorie A. Murray, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Our Sense of Hearing
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this activity, learners investigate the sense of hearing and plan and conduct their own experiments. In "CLASS EXPERIMENT," learners discover how we are able to judge where a sound is coming from with our eyes closed, and whether this judgment is easier for noises coming from specific directions. In "TRY YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT," learners design new experiments, investigating, for example, if one ear is as good as two in locating sound sources; how the size and shape of the external ear affects hearing; or whether other learners know how to take care of their hearing. This lesson plan includes background information, tips for educators and separate guides for educators and learners.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Marjorie A. Murray
Marjorie A. Murray, Ph.D.
University of Washington
Our Sense of Sight
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this activity, learners investigate visual perception as well as plan and conduct their own experiments. In "CLASS EXPERIMENT," learners discover how depth perception works by testing their ability to perform motor tasks with one eye or two eyes. In "TRY YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT," learners design experiments investigating visual illusions, such as shadow vs. figure, length of lines, or apparent size. They can investigate visual attention with "minimum difference tests." This lesson plan includes background information and guides for educators and learners.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Marjorie A. Murray
Marjorie A. Murray Ph.D.
University of Washington
Our Sense of Sight
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this activity, learners investigate the sense of sight and develop and conduct their own experiments. In "CLASS EXPERIMENT," learners measure their central and peripheral visual fields under different circumstances, and learn which areas of the retina carry these types of information to the brain. In "TRY YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT," learners design experiments, investigating, for example, what happens when the visual field is restricted, or what other animals see in their visual fields. This lesson plan includes background information and guides for educators and learners.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Marjorie A. Murray
Marjorie A. Murray Ph.D.
University of Washington
Our Sense of Sight
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this activity, learners investigate color vision as well as plan and conduct their own experiments. In "CLASS EXPERIMENT," learners discover that afterimages occur because of properties of cells in the retina and because of the way nerve pathways carry color information to the brain. They learn basic facts about photoreceptors, nerve connections, and opponent colors. In "TRY YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT," learners design experiments, investigating, for example, how skillful people are at distinguishing gradations of color and how color helps us discern objects in a scene. This lesson plan includes background information and guides for educators and learners.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Marjorie A. Murray
Marjorie A. Murray Ph.D.
University of Washington
Our Sense of Touch
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

In this activity, learners investigate the touch sensory system and discover how to plan and carry out their own experiments. In "CLASS EXPERIMENT," learners find that the ability to tell that two points rather than just one are pressing on the skin depends on two things: the density of skin sensory receptors and the connections that the sensory nerve cells make in the brain. They learn basic facts about sensory receptors and nerve connections, and use their estimates of receptor density to predict the size of the brain areas devoted to input from different skin regions. In "TRY YOUR OWN EXPERIMENT," learners design their own experiments, investigating, for example, how touch information is important in motor tasks, or whether additional sensory input can interfere with two-point discrimination. This lesson plan includes background information and guides for educators and learners. Note: total learning time may be reduced if the number of skin areas tested are limited and you restrict the materials in the second part of the activity.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Neuroscience for Kids
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Marjorie A. Murray
Marjorie A. Murray Ph.D.
University of Washington