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Sunovion Program Students Teach Neuroscience

What happens when we dream? Why do we get tired? What are the functions of the brain? What is glycine? These are some of the neuroscience topics a group of Upper School students taught to 7th graders – remotely, of course.

The lessons were the culmination of the second year of a unique collaborative project with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, a Marlborough company that develops medicines for central nervous system disorders.

The students visited Sunovion several times to learn about neuroscience from company scientists. Then they used that knowledge to develop neuroscience lessons appropriate for AMSA’s 7th grade curriculum. (In a normal year, the lessons would include in-class lab work.)

Here are some examples of the lessons developed and delivered remotely by the students via Google Meet, including a Kahoot quiz.

This year’s student participants are seniors Essiet Ette, Jules Hogan, Anish Patel, Amruta Peri, and Juliana Vinkels; and junior Allison Silva, who will continue next year.

Dr. Joray, AMSA Science Dept. Chair, and Mr. Vital, AMSA Community Outreach Mgr., select the Upper School students for the project each year based on resumes, cover letters, and interviews.

By the way, glycine is a substance your brainstem secretes to block signals to your muscles while dreaming. This prevents you from “acting out” your dreams, which could be dangerous!

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