I need help with my son's science project!!!

  1. hey guys,

    i've mentioned this briefly in another thread. my 5th grade son has a science project due on 4/30. he picked the subject of "what makes people mad, sad, happy?" and his teacher approved this subject....after a brief altercation today, his teacher said that he could just do the project on the basics of the human brain. with my ADD, i am SO hyperfocused on all the intracies, networks, pathways and functions of the brain. how should i organize this project that a bunch of 10 y.o.'s would understand. my son had absolutely no idea that emotions were related to brain function (and why would he??) so i'm doing the project and will have him study it after i'm done. i chewed the teacher out for approving this subject but my husband signed off on this back in march and HE didn't know that emotions were a part of brain function. anyway, what would be the most simplistic approach to this nightmare project??????
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   CCU NRS
    Quote from earle58
    hey guys,

    i've mentioned this briefly in another thread. my 5th grade son has a science project due on 4/30. he picked the subject of "what makes people mad, sad, happy?" and his teacher approved this subject....after a brief altercation today, his teacher said that he could just do the project on the basics of the human brain. with my ADD, i am SO hyperfocused on all the intracies, networks, pathways and functions of the brain. how should i organize this project that a bunch of 10 y.o.'s would understand. my son had absolutely no idea that emotions were related to brain function (and why would he??) so i'm doing the project and will have him study it after i'm done. i chewed the teacher out for approving this subject but my husband signed off on this back in march and HE didn't know that emotions were a part of brain function. anyway, what would be the most simplistic approach to this nightmare project??????
    Possibly an anology related brain sensation such as hot,cold/anger,fear etc

    When we touch somehting hot our brain recieves a message from nerves blah blah.... same things happen with emotions except they are outside factors someones words can hurt and when your brain registers that hurt you become emotional and then anger is aroused. When you look outside and see a storm and you hear thunder and see lightening and your brain registers that it could turn into a tornado and you become afraid emotions have evoked fear.... you see what I am shooting for here I don't know if this is what you were looking for but good luck with it!
  4. by   susanmary
    Quote from earle58
    hey guys,

    so i'm doing the project and will have him study it after i'm done ...what would be the most simplistic approach to this nightmare project??????
    Huh? The answer is quite simple -- your son does his own project. Your role as a parent is to support your son's learning -- not take over the project. This is HIS grade, not yours. The library (do kids even use them anymore with internet around) will have plenty of resources. The learning experience of doing projects is what this is all about -- not having the "perfect" project that mom/dad did.

    I will NEVER and I mean NEVER forget when I went to a open house at my kid's school years ago. As one kid (to the entire class) was asked by the teacher to describe his project, the child stated something like this ...
    "my mother made me pick the topic ... my mother felt this ... she said to say ..." You get the picture. I don't mean to come down hard, but this is something I feel REALLY strong about. When parents take over their children's projects/homework, it teaches the kid to take the easy way out, not follow through with responsiblity. And as a wife of a teacher, teachers are not fooled -- they know EXACTLY who is doing the projects.

    So don't stress out. Drive your son to the library. Have him talk to the librarian regarding books, etc. -- then go spend sometime relaxing with a good book or magazine until your son is done.
  5. by   dianah
    I was just going to add, we as nurses know so much that even without ADD the amount of information/data available for such a project is staggering! BUT, your child only needs a 4th grader's view and interpretation and presentation of what's appropriate for other 4th graders. Check out the library, as suggested, and get 3-4 books of targeted AGE-APPROPRIATE sections, then let your son sort out what needs to be kept for the report.
    I've done the same, only using the internet; have typed in "middle school" and the subject or "elementary school" and the subject, and many links appear that are more age-appropriate than just typing in the subject itself. Then I review what's available, choose/print 3-4 and the child then has resource material he/she can understand, and he/she can hone those organizational skills by putting the whole thing together.
    Don't stress, it's a learning process for your son. (were you a perfectionist in school?? only had to make A's? Just wondering. . . ) Good luck! Your son may just tackle this from an entirely different angle than you would, and he might even amaze and teach you something! (they have a way of doing just that! ) -- Diana
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i guess i just can't imagine neuro as a 5th grade science topic. i'll hunt around for resources for that grade. thanks so much.
  7. by   nurseunderwater
    stop thinking neuro - - think brain...
  8. by   dianah
    She's thinking like a nurse again, lol!

    And, I've had teachers tell me, with a wink, they KNOW who did which projects (parent or child)!!
  9. by   Renee' Y-Y
    Also, include the chemical stuff - serotonin, etc. Use an analogy...I love analogies...like stimulus-response (Pavlov's dogs). Say a house is on fire (stimulus) and firemen show up to put it out (response)...and the firemen could be the chemical response to the fire (stimulus).
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    brain chemistry at 10? sheesh I think that is a bit much.
  11. by   susanmary
    Let the kiddo do his own project. He has a better grasp of what is expected of him; if not, he needs to meet with his teacher. Basic stuff -- which part of the brain controls emotions, etc. Not rocket science, not heavy neuroscience -- basic science that is covered in his curriculum. I assume he even has some basic info about the brain in his science book -- he just needs to expand more and keep it simple.
  12. by   canoehead
    Very simple, your body gets a stimulus, signal goes to the brain, the brain processes it, sends a signal back to the body, the body responds. Make a diagram with the words stimulus and response on it and you are golden.
  13. by   leslie :-D
    well the circuitry in my brain is on overload. they have very little resources for a 5th grader...plenty for late teen/college level. damn it, i 'd like to see this teacher and tell her a few more words. :angryfire this is totally ridiculous.
  14. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    earle58, i can almost feel the maternal tug in my own chest when i read your posts, but, mom to mom, you gotta let that boy do his own thing.

    the most important thing you can give him is the confidence to get out there and do something, anything. if you do this project for him, your message is, "i don't think you are smart enough to do this, so i'll do it for you." sometimes we can love our kids too much.

    i have add also, and i spent a lot of time "in trouble" for the usual reasons. but getting so focused in on your boy's business--that's not add, that's iffy boundaries.

    he will come to resent it.

    here's your chance to coach and cheer and applaud him. don't fight his battles with his teacher either. it's clear this kid doesn't suffer from neglect: you are doing a much better job momming than you think. odds are terrific that he can get something respectable together, and by the 30th, too.

    if you must help, let him tell you (specfically) what to do, as in "mom, hold these two things while i glue them together." don't correct him, don't make suggestions. if you can't applaud, coach or encourage, just smile and nod.

    also, google is a great resource, even for kids. check out this site that i found on google (i just searched for "brain"--no quotes, of course). it is specific for kids k-8, and it is just too cool.

    in fact, thank your son for me--i wouldn't have found that site if i hadn't read your post, which was there because he has a project! (and go read that magazine! )

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