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Exploring Neural Engineering with a Teacher-Authored Science Curriculum (Curriculum Exchange)

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Curriculum Exchange

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.731.1 - 26.731.3



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Paper Authors


Kristen M Clapper Bergsman Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering

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Kristen Clapper Bergsman is the Pre-College Education Manager at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington. She is also a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in Learning Sciences and Human Development at the University of Washington. Previously, Kristen worked as an educational consultant offering support in curriculum development and production. She received her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education) from the University of Washington.

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Eric H. Chudler University of Washington

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Eric H. Chudler is a research neuroscientist interested in the neuroactive properties of medicinal plants and herbs and how the brain processes information about pain and nociception. Eric received his Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1985. He has worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD (1986-1989) and in the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA (1989-1991). He is currently a research associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the executive director of Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering. He is also a faculty member in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine and the Graduate Program of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of Washington. In addition to performing basic neuroscience research, Eric works with other neuroscientists and classroom teachers to develop educational materials to help K-12 students learn about the brain.

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Lise Johnson The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering

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Lise Johnson is the University Education Manager at the National Science Foundation funded Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering as well as an active researcher in the University of Washington Department of Neurological Surgery.

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Michael W. Shaw Cleveland STEM High School

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Education: B.S, in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Washington (Seattle)
M.Ed in Secondary Education (Biology), University of Washington (Bothell)

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and moved to the Pacific Northwest over 20 years ago with my wife and two children. I joined the US Marine Corps Reserve in 1998 in order to help complete my education and was activated in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After 2+ decades in another career, I chose to teach in the hopes of making better use of my credentials. Teaching was the natural choice as I am passionate about providing rigorous science instruction to high school students. I currently am in my third year of teaching at Cleveland High School in Seattle, WA.

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Shannon Jephson-Hernandez Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering

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Science educator, engineering enthusiast, and lifelong learner. Ms.Jephson-Hernandez seeks out opportunities to connect neural engineering to everything she encounters. Touching student's lives with information pertinent to their future is not only a goal but imperative. This work is her passion, as she hopes to share the importance of brain awareness to any and all within her reach. People are better prepared to make decisions when they have an awareness of the potential outcomes related to their choices. People also have an opportunity to change their futures through focusing on their neural networks and how they can modify their behavior to improve their quality of life. As students learn to design their brain through choices and habits, they gain skills to prepare them as consumers, employees and voters. Neural engineering is the best way to empower others in life changing work.

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Exploring Neural Engineering with a Teacher-Authored Science Curriculum (Curriculum Exchange)“Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)” is an innovative curriculum unit designed for secondary scienceteachers (grades 6-12). The seven lesson plans contained within the multi-week unit offer asystems engineering approach to teaching about the central nervous system, while alsointroducing basic concepts of neural engineering.During the unit, students are engaged in model building, web quests, research projects, hands-oninvestigations and lab work, video production, and presentations from guest scientists. Thecurriculum culminates in a “brain box” model building activity and a script writing exercisewhere students compose a special investigative report to inform others about traumatic braininjury. Pedagogical approaches include project-based learning (PBL), a systems engineeringapproach, and development of claim evidence reasoning skills. The curriculum is alignment tothe Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS).This teacher-authored curriculum is a product of the ________ program, a summer researchexperience for secondary teachers at the Center for __________ at the University of ________.In this program, teachers become active researchers while working in a lab that is conductingcutting-edge neural engineering research. The teachers also develop curriculum materialsinspired and informed by their experiences in the research lab. The “Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI)” curriculum has been piloted by the teacher-authors in their own classrooms over twoacademic years and revised accordingly.The Center for _______________ is an engineering research center focused on improving livesby connecting brains and technology. Research focuses on the design of closed-loop neural-interactive systems which could improve the quality of life for people with neurological diseases,spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other disabilities.

Clapper Bergsman, K. M., & Chudler, E. H., & Johnson, L., & Shaw, M. W., & Jephson-Hernandez, S. (2015, June), Exploring Neural Engineering with a Teacher-Authored Science Curriculum (Curriculum Exchange) Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24068

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