Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience

Teens have the opportunity to explore the chemicals in plants that have medicinal properties, in particular neuroactive properties. They will explore how plant extracts can act as stimulants or depressants, how some plant extracts can slow the growth of bacteria in neurological disease, and much more.


What's in the Lesson Plan:

  • 8 interactive modules
  • Teacher instruction guides
  • Student handouts
  • Laboratory instructions
  • Extensions and additional resources

Grade Level(s):

6,  7, 

Student Skills Targeted:

  • Knowledge of the nervous system and how neurons communicate
  • Understanding that life experiences change the nervous system
  • Understanding that brain research promotes health and leads to therapies
  • Knowledge that the plant world is filled with species that contain chemicals with medical properties

Time / Duration:

  • 2-3 class periods per module, plus time for homework
  • Some lessons extend over 2 weeks to allow the experiment to be conducted


  • Student handouts
  • Various materials for lab experiences, such as fruits, flowers, pipettes, etc. 

Alignment with National Standards:

  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Common Core Standards: Mathematics Practice
  • Common Core Standards: English Language Arts

Complete Lessons