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This page contains neuroscience lesson modules developed by secondary teachers in collaboration with Brain U, part of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Department of Neuroscience. Seven curriculum units were designed for high school; two for middle school; introductory materials can be adapted to all grades from 6-12. The lessons emphasize modeling and providing real-life context for understanding the material. Several lessons explicitly include physical science standards. The high school units are appropriate for a cross-disciplinary study of neuroscience and physics.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Cooperative Learning
= Modeling
= Problem Solving
- Pedagogy
= Multidisciplinary
Electricity & Magnetism
- DC Circuits
= Circuit Analysis
= Currents
= Ohm's Law
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- High School
- Middle School
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
- Assessment Material
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- New teachers
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Free access
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
Brain U, University of Minnesota Department of Neuroscience and Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Arduino, neural network, neuroanatomy
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 8, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
September 8, 2021 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 31, 2021

Next Generation Science Standards

From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes (MS-LS1)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)
  • Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells. (MS-LS1-3)
  • Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories. (MS-LS1-8)

Engineering Design (HS-ETS1)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)
  • Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem. (HS-ETS1-4)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Structure and Function (LS1.A)
  • In multicellular organisms, the body is a system of multiple interacting subsystems. These subsystems are groups of cells that work together to form tissues and organs that are specialized for particular body functions. (6-8)
  • Multicellular organisms have a hierarchical structural organization, in which any one system is made up of numerous parts and is itself a component of the next level. (9-12)
  • Feedback mechanisms maintain a living system's internal conditions within certain limits and mediate behaviors, allowing it to remain alive and functional even as external conditions change within some range. Feedback mechanisms can encourage (through positive feedback) or discourage (negative feedback) what is going on inside the living system. (9-12)
Information Processing (LS1.D)
  • Each sense receptor responds to different inputs (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical), transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain. The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behaviors or memories. (6-8)
Developing Possible Solutions (ETS1.B)
  • There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. (6-8)
  • Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions. (6-8)
  • When evaluating solutions it is important to take into account a range of constraints including cost, safety, reliability and aesthetics and to consider social, cultural and environmental impacts. (9-12)
  • Both physical models and computers can be used in various ways to aid in the engineering design process. Computers are useful for a variety of purposes, such as running simulations to test different ways of solving a problem or to see which one is most efficient or economical; and in making a persuasive presentation to a client about how a given design will meet his or her needs. (9-12)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions. (6-8)
  • Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models. (9-12)
Structure and Function (K-12)
  • Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (6-8)
  • Investigating or designing new systems or structures requires a detailed examination of the properties of different materials, the structures of different components, and connections of components to reveal its function and/or solve a problem. (9-12)
Stability and Change (2-12)
  • Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time. (6-8)
  • Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. (9-12)
  • Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible. (9-12)
Science is a Human Endeavor (3-12)
  • Science is a result of human endeavors, imagination, and creativity. (9-12)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)
    • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. (6-8)
  • Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
    • Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims. (9-12)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
    • Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict phenomena. (6-8)
    • Apply scientific principles to design an object, tool, process or system. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
    • Develop and use a model based on evidence to illustrate the relationships between systems or between components of a system. (9-12)
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AIP Format
(Brain U, Minneapolis, 2000), WWW Document, (https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans).
Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans, (Brain U, Minneapolis, 2000), <https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans>.
APA Format
Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans. (2021, January 31). Retrieved November 30, 2021, from Brain U: https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans
Chicago Format
Brain U. Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans. Minneapolis: Brain U, January 31, 2021. https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans (accessed 30 November 2021).
MLA Format
Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans. Minneapolis: Brain U, 2000. 31 Jan. 2021. 30 Nov. 2021 <https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans>.
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@misc{ Title = {Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans}, Publisher = {Brain U}, Volume = {2021}, Number = {30 November 2021}, Month = {January 31, 2021}, Year = {2000} }
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%T Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans %D January 31, 2021 %I Brain U %C Minneapolis %U https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans %O text/html

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%0 Electronic Source %D January 31, 2021 %T Center for Neurotechnology Education: Lesson Plans %I Brain U %V 2021 %N 30 November 2021 %8 January 31, 2021 %9 text/html %U https://centerforneurotech.uw.edu/content/lesson-plans

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