The Business of the Busy-CNS! Part II

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Objective

Students will design a solution for a hypothetical CNS replacement transplant after analyzing data from their previous investigations.

Big Idea

The Central Nervous System is a highly trafficked area of the body that is analogous to the efficiency of a well constructed set of roadways. Like these roadways, the CNS can be repaired once we understand how they are specifically structured and function.

Introduction

Lesson Background & Justification:

     The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and a complex network of neurons. This system is responsible for sending, receiving, and interpreting information from all parts of the body.  The Central Nervous System (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord is the processing center for the nervous system. It receives information from and sends information to the peripheral nervous system (nerve cells that iterate the body).In this lesson, students learn to explain the coordinating efforts between the organs of the CNS in the effort to comprehend later units which explore these altered or diseased CNS regions in detail. This lesson, the fifth of a five lesson unit, links with the unit's fourth lesson to explore engineering practices that may potentially lead to the replacement of damaged or diseased CNS organs as students learn the specific anatomy and physiology of this critical system.  

Lesson Preparations:

 In the effort to prepare for this lesson, I make certain that I have the following items in place: 

a) Graph Paper

b) A class set of rulers.

d) Student lab books.

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SP6- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).

HS-LS1-2: Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

Standards Rationale:

       Engineering investigations include analysis of data collected in the tests of designs. This allows comparison of different solutions and determines how well each meets specific design criteria-that is, which design best solves the problem within given constraints. Like engineers, budding scientists must gain command of engineering practices to make interpretation of data generated in their investigations and analysis of proposed solutions more efficient and effective. This lesson engages students in the design process as it relates to the replacement of organs that create our central nervous systems. 

Explain

15 minutes

Section Sequence:

       In this section of the lesson, my goal is to explain specific anatomy and functionality of the spinal cord to students so that may not only understand the role it plays in the CNS, but are also equipped with information that will allow them to tailor their engineering designs to be created in the extension activity more efficiently. I sequence this activity as follows:

a) Revisit students data from day 4. Facilitate a discussion using the following question prompts to assess if students understand the implication of their data collected:

* What were some of our objectives when dissecting the fly larvae last class?

* What did our data reveal in light of these objectives?

* As a bioengineer how could you apply this data to the design process of a replacement CNS?  

* Is the data enough for us to move fourth with our potential designs?

* What more would we need to preserve the fidelity of an actual CNS in a recipient post transplant? Discuss until the idea of more information regarding the structures and/or functions of the CNS is mentioned. 

b) Slide 1: Ask "If we are to replace a cord, in addition to proper fit, what other information is critical?" Discuss until the idea of function is brought up. Then, instruct students to utilize the template on the board to collect notes from the following video prior to playing it. Pause when needed to discuss and reinforce points raised in the clip. Emphasize during the video discussions that model organisms display similar functionality of their CNS.Thus, increasing their scientific credibility.   

       

 c) Say "Now let's examine the spinal cord from saggittal view like we did the brain to fully understand its capacity. Play the first 1:50 minutes and share that the video will serve as our neuroscience art instructor and to follow the illustrations as seen on the screen in their lab books. Pause and discuss as the following video progresses.

       

Standards Covered:

SP6- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).

HS-LS1-2: Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

 

Extend

60 minutes

Section Sequence: 

      In this section of the lesson, my goal is to encourage students to think critically/creatively and propose a model for spinal cord replacement if it were possible. In doing so, students must demonstrate a command of cumulative knowledge from this unit and some information from previous units to achieve a successful design. Students must also consider size and quality of the organs suggested in the process. This section proceeds as follows:

a) Slide 2: State "Think back to our opening case, and consider her therapy regimen. Consider the time it takes in general to establish synapses and to mylenate neurons & nerve cells to get her back to her normal state. Now ask ourselves what might a well crafted transplant do for her?" Discuss.

b) State: "Assuming the sky is the limit and assuming that our data holds promise, I'd like for you to design the perfect CNS for a subject like our opening case study." Read subject information and explain criteria as displayed to engineer a CNS to help this subject. Give each student time to produce a blueprint for a proposed model (sketches and key information). Address clarification questions as students progress through the design process.  

Standards Covered:

SP6- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).

HS-LS1-2: Develop and use a model to illustrate the hierarchical organization of interacting systems that provide specific functions within multicellular organisms.

 

Evaluate

15 minutes

                    In this section of the lesson, I collect student engineering proposals and grade them according to the specified rubric (displayed on slide 2). An additional method of evaluation to consider is to have students evaluate each others designs in addition to my evaluation.