Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP)

This program, designed for use in the science classroom, uses the aquatic flatworm (planarian) to teach students how drugs work in the brain to produce addiction. Because planarians have neurotransmitter systems that are similar to that of mammalians, they are ideal for using in inquiry-based lessons to teach students how the brain can be impacted by drugs. In these lessons, students have the opportunity to conduct experiments designed to help them discover the impact of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol on the functioning of neurons and the brain. The lessons include a teacher’s guide with detailed instructions for the experiments, as well as questions for the students to consider after they have conducted the experiments and a Scientific Method Recap.


What's in the Lesson Plan:

  • 8 hands-on experiments
  • Teacher instructional guides
  • Student handouts
  • Suggestions to enhance and modify experiments

Grade Level(s):

6,  7,  8,  9,  10,  11,  12 

Student Skills Targeted:

  • Understanding biology and chemistry concepts related to how drugs impact the brain
  • How to conduct experiments using the scientific method
  • The ability to hypothesize and generate an experiment to answer the hypothesis

Time / Duration:

  • 1 class period per experiment


  • Petri dishes
  • Pipettes
  • Spatulas
  • Black construction paper
  • Graph paper
  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol solutions
  • Planarians

Alignment with National Standards:

  • National Science Education Standards


  • English

Complete Lessons