Home learning and teaching

We are excited to introduce our newly developed ‘toolkit’ of neuroscience-related resources: MyNeuroGeneration, giving neuroscientists the tools they need to be able to carry out effective outreach in schools and equipping anyone passionate about the brain to run inspiring, interactive sessions based on current neuroscience research.

Each session's 'toolkit' includes a PowerPoint presentation and an information sheet which can be downloaded and adapted as appropriate. Most sessions have been developed for both primary school children and secondary school/ sixth form students. 

The sessions include age-appropriate, fun activities that reinforce the concepts taught. Each session is self-contained but one can also mix and match different topics and activities as necessary. Some examples of mixed sessions, e.g. for visiting school groups and school leavers' destinations days, are below:

The BNA's response to educational needs during the coronavirus crisis

At the time of the release of the MyNeuroGeneration toolkits for outreach, most children in the UK and abroad are learning from home. Thus, the BNA has responded by:

  • hosting free, interactive webinars for children and young people on the brain and nervous system (to find out more about these, please click here)
  • starting to adapt some of our 'toolkits' so that the activities they include only use materials that can be found around the house (these sessions or those which we feel can be easily used at home without adaptation, will soon be indicated with an asterisk)

The 'toolkits' have been written in such a way that they can be used by anyone with just a basic understanding of biology, and we hope that, in adapting the activities so that no special materials are needed, parents will be able to use them for home learning with their children in the current situation.

Contents

Primary modules (for children aged 4-11)

  1. Primary - My Research
  2. Primary - Brain Anatomy
  3. Primary - Learning and memory
  4. Primary - Neurons
  5. Primary - What is a Scientist?
  6. Primary - Drug Development
  7. Primary - Neuroethics
  8. Primary - Neuronal communication
  9. Primary - Mental Health
  10. Primary - The Teenage Brain
  11. Primary - The Nervous System
  12. Primary - Speech, Language and Critical Periods
  13. Primary - The Eye

Secondary modules (for children and young people aged 12-18)

  1. Secondary - My Research
  2. Secondary - Brain Anatomy
  3. Secondary - Learning and memory
  4. Secondary - Neurons
  5. Secondary - What is a Scientist?
  6. Secondary - Drug Development
  7. Secondary - Neuroethics
  8. Secondary - Neuronal communication
  9. Secondary - Mental Health
  10. Secondary - Teenage Brain
  11. Secondary - Nervous System
  12. Secondary - Animals in Research
  13. Secondary - Drugs and Addiction
  14. Secondary - Speech, Language and Critical Periods
  15. Secondary - The Eye

Primary modules (for children aged 4-11)

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Primary - My Research

Scientist pipetting liquid into test tubeSummary: In this module, you will have the opportunity to present your research or discuss the day-to-day life of a scientist. The resources give some useful hints and tips for you to think about when preparing for your session.

Activities: None specified

Materials needed: Anything that would help you explain your research/what you do as a neuroscientist 

Please click here to access the resources for this session.

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Primary - Brain Anatomy

brain Summary: How we can look at the brain, the fact that the brain sends messages to and receives messages from the rest of the body and which parts of the brain are dominant in which functions.

Activities: Scientist says, make a brain hat

Materials needed: Card/paper, colouring pens/pencils, scissors, tape

Resources coming soon.

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Primary - Learning and memory

Summary: What the terms memory and learning mean, how learning leads to memories being stored in the brain, and some of the different types of memories. 

Activities: Scientist says, memory game, bendy pencil  

Materials needed: Pencils and paper 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Primary - Neurons

Summary: The brain enables us to do everything that we do, think and feel, and it is made up of cells called neurons, which connect to each other and are key to brain function. We can look at neurons through a microscope. 

Activities: Scientist says, make a pipe cleaner neuron

Materials needed: Pipe cleaners of different colours and sizes 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Primary - What is a Scientist?

Summary: What scientists are, what they look like and wear, and what skills and atributes you might need to become a scientist.

Activities: Chicken, fox, and a bag of grain & Scientist race

Materials needed: Lab coats, goggles and gloves

Please click here to access the resources for this session.

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Primary - Drug Development

Summary: Explore what medicines are and where they come from in terms of all the different people involved in their discovery and development. 

Activities: Where do medicines come from role play 

Materials needed: Bandages/plasters, lab coat/ stethoscopes/goggles, clipboard/ paper pad, pen/pencil, high Vis vest, hard hat, camouflage/safari hat 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Primary - Neuroethics

Summary: Discussing key ethical questions regarding research and artificial intelligence such as reading minds, changing memories and what the advantages and disadvantages would be of robots becoming as smart as humans. 

Activities: Group discussions on different ethical questions surrounding science advancement 

Materials needed: None required

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Primary - Neuronal communication

Summary: Neurons are the cells in the brain, they connect and communicate with one another. The way in which neurons 'talk' to each other is key to brain function. Neurons communicate through electrical and chemical messages. 

Activities: Neuronal communication

Materials needed: Bubbles (with wands to blow through)  

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Primary - Mental Health

Summary: The brain is the source of our feelings, it creates our emotions, which can be affected by our experiences. Things we can do to keep our brain healthy, and where/ who to go to for help if we are sad.

Activities: Beach scenario, Draw your experiences and emotions, Body scan 

Materials needed: Pencils/pens and paper 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Primary - The Teenage Brain

Coming soon

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Primary - The Nervous System

Summary: The nervous system allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, and it has two main parts, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

Activities: Nervous system 

Materials needed: Sticky notes/ pens and paper, string 

Please click here to access the resources for this section. 

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Primary - Speech, Language and Critical Periods

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Primary - The Eye

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Secondary modules (for children and young people aged 12-18)

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Secondary - My Research

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Secondary - Brain Anatomy

cartoon of brainSummary: How scientists study the brain, the hemispheres of the brain and a detailed look at the different lobes and other regions of the brain and their functions

Activities: Mirror drawing activity/ build a brain model/ parietal lobe experiment

Materials needed: A carboard box, mirror, coloured marker and pieces of paper with a large shape printed on them/ paper, scissors, gluesticks/ callipers or bent paperclips

Please click here to access the resources for this session.

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Secondary - Learning and memory

Summary: Introduction to the brain, and the terms learning and memory. The different memory stores, why and how the brain stores information. 

Activities: Memory game 

Materials needed: no extra materials required 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Secondary - Neurons

cartoon of a neuronSummary: How we can look at the brain, parts of the brain, parts of the neuron, how neurons communicate and an introduction to cells that assist neurons.

Activities: Microscopy/ Electrical muscle stimulator (EMS) activity/ Make a pipe cleaner neuron 

Materials needed: Microscopes and slides/ EMS or TENS device/ pipe cleaners

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Secondary - What is a Scientist?

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Secondary - Drug Development

Red and yellow drug capsulesSummary: What sorts of molecules drugs are and how they work, the stages and processes of drug discovery and clinical trials, the placebo effect and licensing. 

Activities: Placebo effect activity, optional receptor/drug activity

Materials needed: 2 tubs of hand cream, optional item with a hole/indentation in it e.g. cookie-cutter/glue stick, and modeling clay/ play-dough. 

Please click here to access the resources for this session.

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Secondary - Neuroethics

Summary: Discussing key ethical questions regarding research and artificial intelligence such as reading minds, changing memories and what the advantages and disadvantages would be of robots becoming as smart as humans. 

Activities: Group discussions on different ethical questions surrounding science advancement 

Materials needed: None required, although you may wish to split the class into small discussion groups and provide them with markers and sugar paper to brainstorm their ideas and views 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Secondary - Neuronal communication

Summary: Neurons connect and communicate with one another within neuronal networks. The stages of the action potential as electrical signals travel along a neuron, and the chemical transmission of messages betwen neurons via the synapse. 

Activities: Neuron race 

Materials needed: Baskets/bucket and balls (that fit into the baskets)

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Secondary - Mental Health

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Secondary - Teenage Brain

Summary: Brain development during the teenage years regarding different brain areas and explaining the process of synaptic pruning. The behaviours that arise during this development such as the sense of self and risk taking. 

Activities: Egg game and/or balloon game  

Materials needed: Eggs and/or balloons

Please click here to access the resources for this session.

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Secondary - Nervous System

Summary: The Nervous System is divided into the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). The PNS is further divided into other branches leading to the sympathetic and parasympathetic subdivisions which control our involuntary actions. 

Activities: Knee jerk relfex, reaction time 

Materials needed: 30cm long rulers, pencils and paper

Please click here to access the resources for this session.

 

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Secondary - Animals in Research

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Secondary - Drugs and Addiction

Summary: Introducing students to drugs and the neuroscience behind how drugs affect the brain and neuronal communication. How drug abuse can lead to drug addiction and what happens in the brain for this to occur.  

Activities: Mouse Party game, Addiction card game 

Materials needed: Pack of cards 

Please click here to access the resources for this session. 

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Secondary - Speech, Language and Critical Periods

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Secondary - The Eye

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