The Topic:

Easier - The brain is the organ inside the skull of animals and humans. It is the central control point for the nervous system and directs the body's movement and activity. The brain is the center of thought and intelligence. It allows you to think, learn, and to have memories and feelings.
Harder - The jellylike mass of a human brain largely consists of grayish nerve cells and whitish nerve fibers with ridges and grooves defining the surface. A newborn infant's brain contains most of its nerve cells and weighs less than 1 pound (0.5 kilogram), but by the time the child is six years old, the brain reaches its full weight of about 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms). The increase in the brain's weight comes largely from nerve cell growth, the development and growth of supporting cells, and the development of connections among cells. During this first six-year period, a child learns and acquires behavior patterns at the fastest rate in their life.
A brain is the master control for the body; it monitors and regulates the body's actions and reactions. It constantly receives information from the senses about conditions outside and inside the body. The brain rapidly analyzes this data and then sends messages to control body actions and functions. The three main parts of the brain are dedicated to different processes. The brain stem contols breathing, heart rate, and many other vital body processes. The cerebrum is the center of thinking and stores information from past experiences making learning and remembering possible. The cerebellum is responsible for the body's balance, posture, and the coordination of movement.
Brain and Behavior
Who are you? Who are they? How did you get to be that way? How did they? What can you and they do about it? Is it possible that everything that one is, does, and experiences is a function of the brain?
Related Websites:
2) Brain and Five Senses
3) Brainpower from CNN
4) Human Brain from The Franklin Institute
5) Neuroscience
Brain Connection
Learn how the brain works and how people learn at this comprehensive site.
Related Websites:
2) Human Cranial Nerves (Advanced level) by H. Linssen at University of Manchester
3) Neuron Transmission (Slide show)
4) Understanding How the Brain Works
5) Understanding the Brain and Reading from Southwest Educational Development
Brainarium . .
Journey into the brain to see and learn.
Other Brainy Sites for Kids:
2) Brain is the Boss from KidsHealth
3) Brain Geography (Hot Science) from PBS NOVA
4) Neuroscience for Kids by E.H. Chudler
5) Sheep Brain Dissection: The Anatomy of Memory from Exploratorium
6) Nervous System from BrainPOP
Brain Wonders from Zero to Three
The human brain begins forming very early in prenatal life (just three weeks after conception), but in many ways, brain development is a lifelong project. That is because the same events that shape the brain during development are also responsible for storing information--new skills and memories--throughout life.
Not-To-Be-Missed Sections:
2) Brain Development FAQs
3) BrainWonders: 2 - 6 Months
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of these activities:
Color the Brain and other Activities. Visit the Neuroscience Coloring Book where you can print out and color any or all of the pictures and make your own coloring book filled with drawings about neuroscience. Or you can select another activity from (2) Experiments and Acitivities and (3) Brain Games, all from Neuroscience for Kids. You can also find lots of brain-related activities and experiments at (4) Neuroscience for Kids from Bonus.
Complete A Brian WebQuest. Follow or adapt the instructions and procedures found at the following webQuest sites:
1) Brain (Grade 4) by S. Santti
2) Brain (Grades 9-10) by L. Gindratt
3) Brain Geography (Grade 7) by B. Tatum and H. Williams
4) If I Only Had a Brain WebQuest (Grades 11-12) by A. Purdy
5) Journey Inside the Human Brain (Grades 5-9) by C.C. Payne
Celebrate Brain Awareness Week. The official week for Brain Awareness Week is in March but any week is a good time to get involved. Plan and organize events for your own observance. Get some good ideas at Brain Awareness Week from Neuroscience for Kids.
Explore The Brain. Identify which area of the brain's motor cortex controls movements of your body's muscles. You can do that online at Probe the Brain from PBS's A Science Odyssey. Follow the instructions and learn.
Right Brain, Left Brain - WhichAre You? Determine which side of your brain, left or right, is dominant. Start by visiting sites like (1) Learning Styles, Culture & Hemispheric Dominance from Math Power, (2) Hemispheric Dominance Inventory, and (3) Hemispheric Dominance Inventory Test.
Create A Brain Health & Safety Handbook. What can one do to help develop and protect the brain? First, do the research - - then design and create a handook that communicates the most important practices. Your final project could be a multimedia or online virtual handbook as well as a printed product.
Build A Brain! One way to better understand the brain is to build one - - that is to build a model of the brain. Use clay or other materials to construct your model of the brain. Identify and explain each of the brain sections. How are they alike and different from other parts of the brain?
Websites By Kids For Kids
Brain Explorer (2001 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Your Brain is the centerpiece of your existence. Functionally, it can be split into two distinct categories that complement each other in all activities of your day.
Related ThinkQuest Project:
2) Blast Off to the Brain (2000 Junior Project)
3) Faces of the Brain (2001 Internet Challenge)
4) Ride Through the Human Brain (2000 Junior Project)
Brain: For the Thought of It! (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Take a quiz to find out if you are right-brained or left-brained, then learn about major parts of the brain. Learn about brain diseases, medications, and treatments. Also check out the section on dreams and dream analysis.
Brain Homepage (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site contains information about the brain starting with a history section that looks back to ancient study of the brain. The section, What's the Brain, describes its anatomy, and Brain Functions describes what the brain does.
Brainstorm (2001 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Brainstorm is about the nervous system, the center of our lives, and the brain in its uniqueness and its ability on control everything from emotions to actions, and intelligence to consciousness.
Clockworks: The Brain (Achievement award, 2001 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This comprehensive website provides insight into the one of the most vital and intriguing organs of the body, the organ that controls all actions carried out by a person and all thoughts that go through one’s head, the organ that we just don’t know enough about.
Related ThinkQuest Project:
2) Brain: Organ of the Mind (Achievement award, 2001 Internet Challenge)
3) Human Brain: An Owner's Manual (2001 Internet Challenge)
How to Grow a Better Brain (2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Visit this site to learn amazing facts about your brain and learn about how nutrition, music, sleep, aromas, and exercise affect your brain. You will learn about the many ways you are smart by learning about your different intelligences.
Human Thinking Process (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site explores some unique aspects of human thinking including "thinking history," a dynamic model of the brain's control center, learning theories and language, the classical reasoning processes, modern symbolism, argument formation theory, and fuzzy logic.
Little Gray Cells: An Introduction to the Brain (1999 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
A starting point for learning about the brain, this site explores the anatomy and development of the brain, the history of neuroscience, diseases of the brain, and current news in neuroscience.
More Websites
Brain Facts and Figures by E.H. Chudler
This site provides quick facts on the brain, seeing, hearing, taste, smell, the spinal cord, neurons and the blood supply.
BrainWeb and Brain Information from Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives
This site provides information on brain related injury, disease, and lots more.
Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections
This site lets you compare the brains of over 100 different mammals, including humans!
Related Website:
2) Brain Biodiversity Bank from Michigan State University
Human Brain: Dissections of the Real Brain (Advanced level) by T.H. Williams, N., and J.Y. Jew Gluhbegovic from Virtual Hospital
This publication is intended to serve students of all the health and biological sciences who are seeking to understand the organization and functions of the human nervous system. The unique feature is its collection of brain and spinal cord dissections.
Related Websites:
2) Atlases of the Brain
3) Brains on the Web: Comparative Neuroanatomy and Intelligence
4) Whole Brain Atlas by K.A. Johnson and J.A. Becker
Infectious Diseases of the Central Nervous System by G. Baumbach from Virtual Hospital
This online tutorial provides an overview of the various infectious disease processes which involve the central nervous system.
Mapping the Brain by R.M.E. Sabbatini
Discover how doctors build maps of the mind using the brain's electrical signals while also learning about the history of the device that measures this activity, the electroencephalogram.
Mind Over Matter (Grades 5-9) from National Institute on Drug Abuse
Find out how your brain responds to marijuana, opiates, inhalants, hallucinogens, nicotine, stimulants, and steroids.
Right Brain vs. Left Brain from Funderstanding
This theory of the structure and functions of the mind suggests that the two different sides of the brain control two different "modes" of thinking. It also suggests that each of us prefers one mode over the other.
Related Websites:
2) Creativity and the Right Side of the Brain
3) Eyesite: Brain Hemisphere Utilisation
4) Left and Right Sides of the Brain
5) Left Brain-Right Brain
6) "Left Brain-Right Brain" Myth
7) Left Vs. Right: Which Side Are You On?
Secret Life of the Brain from PBS
This website was created as a companion to the television series about the fascinating processes involved in brain development across a lifetime.
Other Related Websites from PBS:
2) Changing Your Mind from PBS Scientific American Frontiers
3) Make Up Your Mind from PBS Scientific American Frontiers
4) Secrets of the Mind from PBS NOVA Online
More Injury and Disease Information Related to the Brain
ALS Survival Guide (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease)
ALS is a fatal neuromuscular disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness resulting in paralysis. The cause of ALS is unknown. Researchers do know that an excess of a neurotransmitter called glutamate clogs the synapse of the nerve cell preventing transmission of neural impulses.
Related Websites:
2) ALS Association (ALSA)
3) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis from MedLine
4) NINDS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Information Page
Alzheimer's Association
Alzheimer’s disease (pronounced AHLZ-hi-merz) is one of several disorders that cause the gradual loss of brain cells. The disease was first described in 1906 by German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Although the disease was once considered rare, research has shown that it is the leading cause of dementia.
Related Websites:
2) Alzheimer's Disease Education & Referral Center from National Institute on Aging
3) Alzheimer's Explained
4) Alzheimer Society of Canada
Brain Eater from PBS NOVA
This program retraces the scientific sleuthing that linked mad cow disease in cattle to a related brain disease in humans.
Related Websites:
2) Deer: Wasting Disease Disaster from the Why Files
3) How Mad Cow Disease Works by C.C. Freudenrich from Howstuffworks
4) Mad Cow Disease from PBS Online NewsHour
5) Mad Cow Disease: Counting the Cost from CNN
6) Official Mad Cow Disease Home Page
This organization distributes or assists in the distribution of information related to the central nervous system or various neurological disorders.
Related Website:
2) Centre for Neuro Skills
Brain Cancers from MedLine Plus
This online tutorial uses animated graphics and sound to explain this condition in easy-to-read language. Also available in Spanish.
Related Website:
2) American Brain Tumor Association
3) Brain Cancer from MedLine Plus
4) Brian Cancer from Oncology Channnel
5) Brian Tumor Society
6) National Brain Tumor Foundation
Brian Injury Association of America
The “silent epidemic” of brain injury is illustrated best by a 1999 statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—there currently are at least 5.3 million Americans living with a disability as a result of brain injury.
Related Website:
2) Brain Injury Resource Center
3) Brain Tumors from OncoLink
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral means anything in the head and palsy refers to anything wrong with control of the muscles or joints in the body. If someone has cerebral palsy it means that because of an injury to their brain (that's the cerebral part) they are not able to use some of the muscles in their body in the normal way (that's the palsy part).
Related Websites:
2) Cerebral Palsy
3) Cerebral Palsy: A Guide for Care
4) Cerebral Palsy Association of Canada
5) Cerebral Palsy - Facts & Figures from United Cerebral Palsy
Epilepsy Education from Kids Health
Did you know that Napoleon, Van Gogh, and many other famous people had epilepsy? Find out what epilepsy is, what happens to a person during a seizure, and how to treat the disorder.
Related Websites:
2) Growing Up With Epilepsy (2000 ThinkQuest Project)
3) What Is Epilepsy? from The Epilepsy and Brain Mapping Program
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
This authoritative site focuses on neuroscience research and its relationship to brain diseases.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society and
MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS consists of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves.
Related Websites:
2) All About Multiple Sclerosis
3) Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
4) Multiple Sclerosis Education and Medical Information . . from HealthTalk
5) Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
6) World of Multiple Sclerosis
Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF)
This is the website of a national non-profit organization devoted to education, advocacy, and the funding of research. It is estimated that as many as one million Americans now suffer from this debilitating condition.
Related Websites:
2) Awakenings - Parkenson's Disease
3) National Parkinson Foundation
4) Parkinson's Disease from MedLine Plus
5) Parkinson's Information from Brady Interactive
Shaken Baby Alliance
This website offers FAQs, prevention information, family support resources, legal/advocacy information, bibliographies, and links. Information about activities, community projects, and the site's associated listserv are also included.
Related Websites:
2) National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
3) NINDS Shaken Baby Syndrome Information Page
4) Shaken Baby / Shaken Impact Syndrome from KidsHealth
5) Shaken Baby Syndrome by S. Palmer
Websites For Teachers
Artful Minds (Silver award, 1999 ThinkQuest project)
Prospective and practicing teachers will find theoretical information and practical applications about arts education, brain research, and technology integration. ArtFul Minds has three sections for exploration: Brain Bootcamp:Visualize the Arts and Getting Connected.
Art of Crime Detection (Grades 6-9) from Sanford Art
Students helps to solve annoying but rather innocuous crimes (e.g., toilet-papering a tree) by using both the left and right brain to draw composite sketches of a perpetrator. While they play, players will readily experience the artistic effects and consequences of relying solely on the right or left brains. They will develop an understanding of what parts of the brain are appropriate to use for artistic expression.
Brain from The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
This seven-lesson course provides a survey of information about the brain and how it functions to make each of us who we are.
Brain Awareness Week Lessons by L. Bleeker
This site's lesson ideas are intended to give teachers a head start in planning classroom activities during Brain Awareness Week. However, these ideas can be used anytime that a class is studying the nervous system.
Brain Lesson (Grades 3-6) by J. Haynes and M. Bierman
This lesson introduces and explores the anatomy and importance of the brain in animals and humans.
Brain Power (Grades 6-8) from DiscoverySchool
This lesson involves learning about the brain and its memory functions.
Another Related Lesson from DiscoverySchool:
2) Brain Watching (Grades 9-12)
Left Brain vs. Right Brain-Which Side Are You On? by G. Day (Grades 9-12) from Education World
Following a lecture and student discussion about the right and left hemispheres of the brain, students determine whether they are right-brain dominant or left-brain dominant -- and what that means.
Pieces of Mind: The Man with Two Brains from PBS
This lesson guide explores the work of Dartmouth neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga with a patient with severe epilepsy whose connection between his brain's two hemispheres was severed to stop the seizures. Dr. Gazzaniga's work with so-called "split-brain" patients has given him a unique perspective into how the brain perceives and communicates. The activity Left and Right Brains helps students understand what happens when the bridge between the left and right sides of the brain is disconnected.
Worksheets and Lessons from Neuroscience for Kids
Here you find puzzles, activities, lessons, worksheets and more.
parietal lobe
purkinge cell
dura matter
Stroop effect
cerebral cortex
gray matter
cerebrospinal fluid
olfactory bulb
spinal cord
temporial lobe
long-term memory
medulla oblongata
skill memory
fore brain
limbic region
nerve cell
pyramidal cell
nervous system
working memory
white matter
optic nerver
basil ganglia
brain teaser
frontal lobe
occipital lobe
mind map
nerve fiber
pia mater
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 5/03.