Neuroscience Curriculum

I am passionate about developing engaging, hands-on neuroscience curriculum. From a single activity to a full course, I enjoy designing lessons for students of all ages. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MiNDS began offering online lesson plans and classes via our YouTube channel for learners of all ages. Check out our lessons below and head to the Mentoring in Neuroscience Discovery at Sinai YouTube channel to see additional materials.

Elementary School Learners

In this lesson we discuss the basics of our brain and nervous system. We will also learn about the different sections of the brain, called lobes, and their responsibilities. For an activity, we will be making our very own brain hat so grab some crayons, scissors, and tape and print out your brain hat template here.

In this lesson we talk about the building block of the nervous system, neurons! We will learn about the different parts of the neuron and make our very own brain cell using pipe cleaners. Here is what you will need for our activity: 1 blue pipe cleaner uncut (cell body), 1 red pipe cleaner with ⅓ cut off the end (axon, axon terminal), 1 green pipe cleaner cut into three equal pieces (dendrites), and 1 white pipe cleaner cut into three equal pieces (myelin).

In this lesson we learn about our sense of smell and our sense of taste. We will take a look at how these sensory systems send information to our brain using a chain of neurons. For our activity, we will be doing an experiment, which will demonstrate just how important it is for these two senses to work together. You will need a bag of candy with multiple flavors (for ex. jelly beans, skittles, starburst) for this experiment.

In our final lesson, we examine how our ears are able to hear and our eyes are able to see. Then, we will take a look at how we can trick our brains with different optical illusions. Follow along with our activity by grabbing a straw or pencil, two index cards, crayons, and tape.

Download our slides for elementary school students here.

Middle and High School Learners

How are our brains organized? How do our brains compare to the brains’ of other species? In this lesson we review the anatomy of the brain and take a look at how the human brain compares to the brains’ of mice, rats, dogs, bears, and monkeys. Then, we dive into a sheep brain dissection and examine the variety of structures that make up the brain.