Balance: The Ears Have It

Grade Level: 5 - 8 Age Range: 10 - 13 Lesson Length: 1 class

The vestibular system controls our balance, providing information on spatial orientation for head position and posture. Spinning a student around in a chair demonstrates how the vestibular system senses different types of circular motion. Using these observations, students will design and conduct experiments to explore vestibular function.

Safety Notes:
Some students may experience nausea and should be excused from being the spinnee.
Everyone should watch carefully and be prepared to stabilize the individual who is spinning during the Explore phase.
Spinning should be done in an open area away from tables, lockers, or any other objects. If done indoors, you may wish to lay athletic mats on the floor in case a student falls.

Honorable Mention in the 2015 Brain Awareness Week video contest went to The More You Hear, The Less You Hear: Hair Cells and Hearing Loss which explains how hearing deteriorates the more we listen to loud music. See all the winners at www.sfn.org/News-and-Calendar/Neuroscience-Quarterly/Fall-2015/Brain-Awareness-Video-Contest.

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