Over the past several weeks, the Counseling Team has introduced the Science of Me program to students in multiple classrooms. This program was created in consultation with Elise Wulff, Senior Program Manager of Aspire at Mass General Hospital and co-creator of the Science of Me curriculum. The Science of Me, designed as a series of explorations for students at Acera, aims to cultivate a deeper understanding of oneself through the fascinating world of neuroscience. By delving into the complexities of how our brains function and what that means for us as unique individuals, students will begin to develop a shared language, enhance their self-awareness, and learn to distinguish fact from fiction.
One exploration has students create their own brain hats. The brain hats introduce the parts of the brain, their positioning, and their respective functions. This activity helps establish a common vocabulary and an understanding of the specialized roles of the different brain regions. By creating a brain hat, students visually and physically engage with the anatomy of the brain, making the learning process both fun and memorable.
In a different Science of Me exploration, students learned about the building blocks of the nervous system: neurons and neurotransmitters. They put their knowledge to use by completing large scale puzzles of neurons in teams, and then creating their own take home model of a neuron with Model Magic. Building models enhances the learning experience by making academic concepts more tangible.
Our final explorations involve an examination of the senses, including how the sense of smell is closely tied to our memories and emotions. Students learn the parts of the brain involved in processing smells, and utilize their knowledge of brain anatomy to determine the link between smell, memories and emotions. During an experiential scent lab, students test the power of scent and the brain’s ability to store and recall sensory experiences.
Neal Bottom, M.Ed, is an Acera school counselor and math teacher.
Sigourney Hamilton is an Acera student support provider.