The Being Brainy science programme has been developed by neuroscientists at the Universities of Auckland and Otago to enable science and technology engagement to primary and intermediate schools using the example of the human brain.
The programme has been divided into year-based teaching resources (Y1-2, Y3-4, Y5-6, Y7-8). Each year-based teaching resource includes a programme overview, a unit plan and list of required resources. Teachers are provided with a full set of lesson plans with background information on the topic and teaching slides.
Being Brainy has focused on ensuring a high level of student interaction and inquiry with each session including several experiments and/or activities for the students to undertake.
The programme has been trialled at two Intermediate schools (Blockhouse Bay Intermediate; Northcote Intermediate) and four Primary schools (Upper Harbour Primary, Sunnybrae Normal Primary, Birkenhead Primary and Orere Point School). Formal and informal feedback from both teachers and students demonstrated that this programme was extremely well received and generated a high level of learning and inquiry from the students. Several schools found they could easily incorporate aspects of the lesson plan into other curriculum topics including art, literacy and/or numeracy.
The Being Brainy programme is available to schools online at no cost (online registration required).
To ensure students have the opportunity to engage with a “real-life” scientist, the Being Brainy programme can provide a scientist to visit the school. If a visit is not possible, students can interview a scientist by Skype – see how you can arrange this.