Students will use their research skills to learn about the diseases and disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.
Students will work individually to research a neurological disease or disorder. After completing their research, students will give a brief oral presentation that covers the history of the disease or disorder, how it affects the brain and nervous system, and what kind of treatments that are available. Their presentations should include a visual aid such as a poster, PowerPoint presentation, or a class handout.
At the end of this activity students will:
- Be able to research a scientific topic
- Be able to clearly and concisely explain a neurological disorder
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) has compiled a list of more than 400 neurological disorders. These disorders range from epilepsy, immune system disorders, psychiatric disorders, and disorders related to brain injury.
Integration Into Curriculum
- Biology, AP Biology
Anatomy and Physiology
Direct your students to the Neurological Disorders A-Z page.
Have students review the list of disorders and ask them to select 3-5 diseases or disorders they are interested in researching.
Ask each student to list their selections on their student sheet, including a short rationale of their selections. Collect and review.
Assign each student one of the disorders based on their lists. Do your best not to have several students assigned to the same topic. The fewer students per topic, the more unique each presentation will be.
Students can search BrainFacts.org and other scientifically-vetted resources for further information on the subject they are assigned. These may include scientific papers from Google Scholar or course textbooks. Students should provide a bibliography of at least five scientifically-vetted resources they used for their research. This can be done in APA, MLA, or Chicago format.
Ask students to prepare an outline and notes for their oral presentation. The presentation should incorporate a visual aid in the form of a PowerPoint, a poster, or a class handout (e.g., flier, brochure, etc.). The presentation should last no more than five minutes.
After completing their oral presentation, students will submit their presentation outline and notes on their research topic.
- Suggestions on how to grade oral presentations and notes are provided in the rubric.
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