Exploring Brain Surgery: Taming and Treating the Tremors of Parkinson's

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Objective

Students will interpret data to identify and explain potential treatments for patients with Parkinson's Disease.

Big Idea

Medical treatment practices utilized for Parkinson's Patients can help us to better treat this condition and understand why advances in Science Technology Engineering and Math are critical in the classroom.

Introduction

Lesson Background & Justification:

       Parkinson's Disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Like Alzheimer's,the accumulation of a protein produces a succession of neuronal events which ultimately impedes on specific neuron's ability to upkeep standard metabolic activities. This lesson, (the second half of a 2 part lesson) specifically introduces students to treatment options for Parkinson's patients and helps them to gain an appreciation for the technology that delivers this information. Furthermore, it produces a framework to aid in student's ability to revisit, compartmentalize and grow in their understanding the genesis of the disease (introduced during day 1 of the lesson) and treatment of it therein. 

Essential Prior Knowledge: Prior to experiencing this lesson, students should be familiar with the following content/concepts: structure and function of DNA, gene expression and protein synthesis, the basics of gel electrophoresis and the structure and function of neurons. 

Lesson Preparations:

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

a) Lap top computers or comparable technological devices to access Ed Heads Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Simulation

b) A class set of Parkinson's Surgery Simulation Worksheet (see attachment) with a copy of the Ed heads Surgery Guide on its flipside. 

Common Core and NGSS Standards:

SP4- Analyzing and interpreting data.

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials. 

Standards Rationale:

        In the science classroom, students are regularly charged with tasks to collect and make sense of data from readings and investigations. What makes these science experiences powerful enough to retain however, is an instructor's ability to access, stimulate and develop students' higher order thinking capacities for cognitive growth and subsequently establishing sound learning practices. In this lesson, students learn to use virtual surgical models and scientific data to build complexity of thought and to build a visual reference for the treatment process of a Parkinson's Disease patient. The goal is to empower students not only use virtual research to apply their scientific process skills to, but to mature these habits of mind for long term practices in the classroom when using any type of model. 

Recall/Engage

25 minutes

Section Sequence:

a) Step 1 of Parkinson's Surgery Simulation Worksheet: Share with the class that they will review first, then grow their understanding of Parkinson's Disease. Verbally inform them that they will start with review and read to the class the instructions of this section to the class. 

b) Grant students 15-20 minutes to complete the task, while circulating around the room to address any misdirected activities (eg. students surfing different sites or little progression on the site due to comprehension issues).

c) Post activity, review each section with the class by selecting volunteers to share out their individual responses while probing them for depth using leading and clarifying questions. For the summary, encourage several students to read theirs to the class and make a conversation out of similarities and contrasts of each student's summary read in succession. 

Standards Covered:

SP4- Analyzing and interpreting data.

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials. 

Extend

60 minutes

Section Primer:

      Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure involving the implantation of a medical device called a brain pacemaker, which sends electrical impulses, through implanted electrodes, to specific parts of the brain for the treatment of movement and affective disorders. DBS in select brain regions has provided therapeutic benefits for otherwise-treatment-resistant movement and affective disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Dystonia. In this section of the lesson, students explore the procedure in its entirety and learn the nature and purpose of each step taken to relieve those with movement disorders and more. 

Section Sequence:

a) Step 2 of Parkinson's Surgery Simulation Worksheet. Ask students to list all of the possible treatments for Parkinson's that they experienced in the first simulation. For each response taken, prompt students with the leading stem "Share the treatment and tell me how it works.". Finally, share that they will explore and execute the steps of the surgical option via a life like simulation of Deep Brain Simulation Surgery using the Ed heads virtual experience. 

b) Read Step 2 Directions (including A-D) aloud to the class to guide them through the initial access process and grant them at least 45 minutes to pursue the activities. As students progress throughout this activity, drop in at their individual stations and inquire about their general thoughts of the activity and what they have learned thus far. Engage them in a brief conversation about what they are having difficulty with and pair them with more confident students to clarify their misunderstandings. Finally, when students are done, encourage them to visit the actual photos of the surgery on the site and ask how well they believe the virtual simulation aided in their comprehension of what they viewed on the photos. This will help them to realize the power of simulated surgeries. 

Standards Covered:

SP4- Analyzing and interpreting data.

SP2- Developing and Using Models.

HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials. 

Evaluate

5 minutes

Section Sequence:

a) Step 2 of Parkinson's Surgery Simulation Worksheet: Upon completion of the surgery, direct the class verbally to summarize treatment options for Parkinson's patients using the prompts and space allotted on the lower half on Step 2's instructions. Encourage students to show off their new jargon a bit to provide meaningful summaries. 

b) Provide students 5-10 minutes to complete and collect the summaries as exit tickets. 

Standards Covered:

HS-PS2-6: Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.