Fight or Flight? The Science of Stress - Virtual

Activity Language
Grade
Time Needed for Activity
Students will explore what happens in their nervous system, endocrine system and circulatory system when their brain detects stressful situations.

What You Need

Materials:

  • 4 pipe cleaners (Alternatively: paper and tape, or paper and colouring supplies)
  • Scissors
  • A cup (large enough to hold the plastic counters)
  • Plastic counters (approx. 45-50/student) (Alternatively: uniform shape/size cereal (Shreddies, Cheerios, etc.), dry pasta, or plastic beads)

Slideshow

Guide

Safety Notes

Be careful with scissors and pipe cleaners.

What To Do

Build a Neuron:

  • Scrunch a pipe cleaner into a ball to represent the cell body
  • Take a pipe cleaner and cut it into 4-5 pieces to represent the dendrites
  • Twist the dendrite pipe cleaner into the cell body
  • Twist long pipe cleaner into the cell body to represent the axon
  • Twist the axon pipe cleaner's end into a loop and form a heart shape by bending the loop inwards to represent the synapse
  • Wrap the axon with another pipe cleaner to represent the myelin sheath
  • Describe the functions of each part while demonstrating how to make them

Stress Test :

  • Demonstrate where students can feel their pulse on their body
  • Set a timer for 30 seconds
  • Tell students to count their pulse until the timer stops
  • Multiply the number that they counted by 2 to determine their resting heart rate
  • Have students place a cup and counters flat on a table
  • Place a hand behind their backs
  • Demonstrate how to pick up the counters, one by one with one hand
  • Set a timer for 30 seconds and have them compete for who can get the most counters in their cup
  • During the competition set a separate timer for 15 seconds
  • Immediately after the competition, get students to count their pulse for 15 seconds
  • Multiply the number that they counted by 4 to determine their heart rate after the competition

Discovery

What's Happening?

Students will explore the biology of stress in their own bodies and discuss the importance of reducing stress.

What's Happening?

Students will explore the biology of stress in their own bodies and discuss the importance of reducing stress.

Why Does It Matter?

It is important to learn to manage short term stress to reduce long term stress

Why Does It Matter?

It is important to learn to manage short term stress to reduce long term stress

Resources

Slideshow

Guide

Resources

Slideshow

Guide

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: