Neuroscience for Kids

Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA



Neuroscience is a rapidly changing field and access to educational material about the brain and nervous system is limited. Neuroscience for Kids is a resource that provides students and teachers with interactive on-line material and hands-on, off-line activities for learning about the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system.


Neuroscience for Kids has been developed for students and teachers at all levels, although most of the material is designed for middle school students and teachers. The site is intended to be used as a supplement to class instruction. Students and teachers explore at their own pace as they learn about many neuroscience topics including brain structure and function, neurological disorders, the senses and drug effects.

Impact of Use on Teaching and Learning

To evaluate the effectiveness of Neuroscience for Kids on student attitudes toward science and neuroscience content knowledge, the entire web site was distributed via CD to 52 teachers (approximately 3,794 middle school students) across the country. Each teacher was provided with a maximum of 5 CDs per class. Student content knowledge of neuroscience concepts improved after use of the resource, but student attitudes toward science remained unchanged.

Learning Activities

Neuroscience for Kids is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can be used at school, home or the library...anywhere with access to the Internet. The resource can be used to:

Research- users can find basic information about neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, the senses, sleep, mental and neurological illness, the effect of drugs on the brain, neuroscience methods, blood supply, language, and more.

Experiment and Interact- users can view on-line activities and demonstrations (e.g., visual illusions), locate ideas for science fair projects and ask neuroscientists questions.

Explore- all pages include extensive links to other resources on the WWW.

Play- on-line and off-line games, demonstrations and quizzes permit users to learn in an entertaining environment. Students and teachers can also send free postcards by e-mail or request a monthly, electronic newsletter.

Print- worksheets, bookmarks, coloring books, puzzles, stationery, greeting cards, games, quizzes can be printed and used off-line.

Plan- teachers have access to lesson plans and materials that can be used inside or outside of class.

Ask-a group of scientists in the Neuroscientist Network is ready to answer your questions about the nervous system.

Tips for Teaching

Students and teachers can work through the Neuroscience for Kids material at their own pace. If visitors are interested in basic information about the functions of the brain, they can begin with the link to "Explore the Nervous System." To reinforce concepts related to neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, students and teachers can select from many hands-on activities in "Experiments and Activities." Links to other Internet web sites and resources for further exploration about the nervous system are also provided. Visitors can sign up to receive the monthly, electronic "Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter."

Explore the Nervous System

Experiments and Activities

Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter


Neuroscience for Kids is a collaborative effort between neuroscientists and K-12 educators. Neuroscientists bring the content knowledge to the project while educators are aware of the best practices that make learning enjoyable. It is through this type of partnership that exemplary Internet resources can be developed for students and teachers.

This electronic portfolio was created using the KML Snapshot Tool™, a part of the KEEP Toolkit™,
developed at the Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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