More Bonny Brains

Another day at Bonny Slope Elementary, this time with 200 4th and 5th grade students eager to learn about their Wise Leader (frontal lobe cortex), and their Spy (occipital lobe), Scout (temporal lobe), Councilor of Spatial Awareness (parietal lobe), Scribe (their hippocampus, in their medial temporal lobe), and Guard (that threat-sensitive, almond-shaped subcortical nucleus known as the amygdala)…

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As our brains develop, the Guard often acts first, lashing out emotionally, and it takes time and social experience to train our Wise Leaders to consult our Scribes, and learn, remember and deploy calmer, more effective ways to respond…

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The cortical Wise Leader (Brianna Jacobs, who also illustrated our brain characters) demonstrated how to calm (or inhibit) her subcortical Guard (the amygdala, played by Penny Allen) with her white matter staff.  The more white matter connections that develop, the more inhibitory control we have over our emotions… 🙂

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We repeated our play from last week’s visit, which you can learn more about here…

The Land of Cerebrum

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Two hundred kids is actually a LOT of 4th and 5th graders 🙂

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After the performance, we split into multiple stations, and built our own neurons, played neural activity games (see activity details, below), and drew images of what we’d learned our different brain regions did…

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Students were helped by Brianna, Penny, Matty McCasland (The Spy), and Erin McConnell (the Scribe).  The Scribe (Erin) came up with the Action Potential Game!

ACTION POTENTIAL ACTIVITY

Action potential

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And of course everyone  –  all 200, plus their teachers  –  enjoyed examining brains.  Jacob Schoen (The Scout) and Jeff Leake (The Councilor of Spatial Awareness) answered questions  –  many about why brains really smelled!

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Thanks again to the students, staff and teachers at Bonny Slope!

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More exploration to come:  we head back in the morning, for another 200 kids..!!

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