Day 3: The Biology of Memories

Here is the wrap-up to our whirlwind tour of neurobiology. Based on the capabilities of the students, this lesson explores depolarization, reflex arcs, and memory circuits. We then end on neuroplasiticity, the new frontier of neurology research.

Goals: to build a basic understanding of how memory works on a biological level.

Important note: this lesson can be taught on a spectrum between scientifically rigorous and more narrative/interpretive. Depending on your own comfort levels and the abilities of your students, please choose an appropriate level of depth. Especially if you are planning on going into more depth, you may also choose to cover this material over the course of two days. If that is the case, you may also consider introducing an additional activity such as having students create metaphors for how neurons work, something that they could use to explain it to their younger siblings.


  • I would recommend trying to include a more engaging opening activity, preferably one that involves small groups.
  • Again, consider your goals for this lesson and how deep you want to go into the material.

As a reminder, your comments and questions are always appreciated!

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