PostedWednesday, October 23, 2019 at 6:12 PM
Bring neural engineering into your high school physics classroom! In this 2-week long curriculum unit, students will investigate the phenomena of a how neurodevices work, bringing together electrical circuitry with the human nervous system. In this case, the human nervous system offers an input (such as a biosignal) that is used to control a machine or computer. Neurodevices, such as brain-computer interfaces, are technologies arising from the field of neural engineering. Students use SnapCircuit kits to design and build models of neurodevices.
This unit includes: Lesson 1 The Nervous System; Lesson 2 Circuits vs. the Nervous System; Lesson 3 Neuroethics; Lesson 4 Productive Uncertainty in Science and Engineering; Lesson 5 Device Design Challenges; and Lesson 6 Design Challenge Presentations.
This curriculum unit was authored by Sadie Frady of Bethel High School (Spanaway, WA) as part of the Research for Teachers program at the Center for Neurotechnology (University of Washington).
The full unit, including all six lesson plans and supporting student handouts and teacher resources, is available from the Center for Neurotechnology's Research Experience for Teachers program website.
NGSS Alignment: This lessons in this unit build toward the following bundle of NGSS Performance Expectations: HS-LS1-2, HS-PS3-3, HS-PS3-5, HS-ETS1-1, and HS-ETS1-2.
In Lesson 1: The Nervous System, students will view a demo of a robotic gripper hand that can be controlled by their own muscles (using EMG biosignals) and they will have time to discuss this phenomena with each other. Students will then learn about the basics of the nervous system by watching videos and will teach each other what they have learned.
In Lesson 2: Circuits vs. the Nervous System, students will compare and contrast the nervous system to what they know already about circuitry and electricity. They will also experiment with their own nervous system and learn about and discuss the concept of plasticity.
In Lesson 3: Neuroethics, students will evaluate their prior beliefs on neuroethics, watch a documentary, then go back and reevaluate their beliefs and how they have or have not changed after viewing.
In Lesson 4: Productive Uncertainty in Science and Engineering, students will read an article on productive stupidity (uncertainty) and engage in a class discussion on what it means to be productively uncertain in a science classroom. They will end the lesson by filling out a chart that goes over the different combinations of behavior seen in a science and classroom settings.
In Lesson 5: Device Design Challenge, students will design and build a working model of a device that uses circuits and is based on neural input that would help someone improve their everyday life.
In Lesson 6: Design Challenge Presentations, students will present their scientific posters and prototypes to the class.