Models and Model Building

Bead Neuron Throw-Down

After creating model neurons from colored beads and wire/string, BrainU participants engage in the "bead neuron throw-down" where they place their bead neurons on the floor and identify synapses and discuss how messages flow from one neuron to another. Dr. Jan Dubinsky demonstrates the throw-down in this video.

Bead Neuron

Students will make bead neurons and use them as models to understand the specialized cellular structure and function of neurons and how neurons communicate with each other.

Taking the time to construct a bead neuron gives students the chance to think about the anatomy and function of this structure. Using different color beads to represent the various parts (cell body, axon, dendrite, nerve terminal, etc.) may help students to identify each part more easity during discussion.

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