Crossing the Synaptic Gap

As part of a unit on the chemistry of the brain, thinkers learn how chemicals work to transmit messages between individual neurons and how controlled substances impact the synaptic cleft. They do so by playing a dice-and-card game in which the numbers that appear on the dice represent the number of incoming signals and the number of signals inhibited by drugs. This fun activity is a stimulating discussion-starter on the nervous system or on substance abuse in either a life science or health class. Note that you will need a projection image from one of the other wonderful lessons in the unit.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Pros

  • Suitable for modeling how drugs affect neurotransmission 
  • Engaging hands-on learning game
  • Part of a larger unit on the chemistry of the brain
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS