Just Released: An Enhanced Version of Virtual Neurons
In this new version, synapses can LEARN!!!!!! Just like synapses (and circuits) in the brain can be strengthened with repeated use, the circuits in Virtual Neurons can now learn as well.
After making a circuit, check out the Zoom button. Can you figure out what happens? Be sure to look at the graph. Hint: See the Synapses Change movie.
Visit the Virtual Neurons lesson page to download the app for Android, Windows, and Mac Air. The iOS version will be available very soon.
A NEW Video! This 1 minute 18 second video will assist you in creating your first neural circuit and give you tips on using the new version. See the video.
A new kind of computer worm is making people cheer and donate $$ -- this one is not malware that infects your computer; it's an exercise in virtual biology involving that laboratory darling, C. elegans.
OpenWorm is a project recently funded on Kickstarter whose goal is to create "the world's most detailed virtual life form -- an accurate, open-source, digital clone of a critter called Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1mm-long nematode that lives in the soils of the world's temperate regions" according to the May 24, 2014 article in The Economist. Read the article.
Thank You! for responding to our survey and helping us improve the website. As a result of your feedback, we've changed the Lessons section of the right-hand menu so that it doesn't get so long. We are looking at other ways to simplify the menu so you can easily find what you seek.
The floating reminder box has been removed from this page but the survey is still available. If you would like to answer the survey, we'd love to hear your ideas so please click here to access the survey. And, again, thank you. Your thoughtful, detailed responses will guide our website development team in the coming year.
BrainU Lessons Now Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards
We're excited to announce that all BrainU lessons have been aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. You may access alignment grids — there are too many lessons to fit on one matrix — on our new Science Standards page. This page also gives you access to the Minnesota State Science Standards alignment matrix.
We are working on making an easier-to-access online version of the three grids and will announce on the BrainU homepage and Facebook page when that is available. In the meantime, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and comments.
NeuroQ - now available for Android
This is one of 200 questions (inspired by the BrainFacts book) presented in NeuroQ a multiple choice quiz app available for iPad, iPhone, iPod, and now Android. Sounds and video reinforce correct answers. If you answer any of the questions incorrectly, those questions will appear more often - giving you a chance to get the right answer.
Neuroscientists' Classroom Visits Positively Impact Student Attitudes Short, scientist-in-the-classroom visits can make a positive contribution to primary school students’ attitudes toward science and learning according to an article co-authored by Dr. Dubinsky. Neuroscientists' Classroom Visits Positively Impact Student Attitudes, which appears in the December 16 issue of PLOS ONE, describes research involving a series of brain awareness presentations done in 2011. Scientists (faculty, lab staff, and students) from the University of Minnesota visited a number of middle school classrooms to give hour-long presentations about the brain. Read more...
BrainU Article Honored as SCIENCE Editors' Choice While attending the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in November, Dr. Janet Dubinsky received word that a paper she authored with Dr. Gillian Roehrig and Dr. Sashank Varma had been selected as an Editors' Choice by SCIENCE magazine. The paper, entitled "Infusing Neuroscience Into Teacher Professional Development," appeared in the Aug/Sept issue of Educational Researcher, the journal of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
SCIENCE is the highly-respected, peer-reviewed weekly science journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Selection as an Editors' Choice is a great honor. Read more...
University of Minnesota Professor A. David Redish's book, The Mind Within the Brain, brings together the research of decision-making from multiple disciplines to present a readable, relatable book about how we make decisions and how those decisions go wrong.
Dr. Redish was interviewed on Oct. 17th by Marshall Poe of Big Ideas in New Books on the New Books Network. Listen to this fascinating 55 minute interview.
NeuroVids on App Store Watch our popular movies about the synapse on iPad, iPhone, and iPod. The Synapse, The Action Potential, Toxins and Synapses, and Synapses Change have been bundled into a single application called NeuroVids available now on the App Store. Visit our movies page under Cool Stuff for links to Flash and YouTube versions.
Updated Documentation Now Available to accompany the new Virtual Neurons software. You may use the program in your web browser with the Flash plug-in or download versions for Windows, Mac, Android, and iPad. Read more...
Welcome to BrainU - Professional development resources, neuroscience lessons, and materials for grades 5 through 12 science teachers.
This site was developed with you in mind. Dig in — use whatever you like — let us know about any other types of resources you'd like us to include or develop. Please send us your ideas and comment on BrainU pages.
Science teachers from Minnesota, New Jersey, and Wisconsin have utilized BrainU training and resources since the program's inception in 2000. With content ranging from 2-week-long teacher training sessions to 1-hour student assemblies, hands-on activities, and student/teacher guides, handouts, and other materials, this website gives you fingertip access to many options for your classroom.
BrainU is a grant-funded teacher professional development program. If you would like to develop a BrainU program in your community, please contact us. Please visit us on Facebook for late breaking news and updates!