Brainy project challenges Parrott Academy psych students

Brainy project challenges Parrott Academy psych students

William McPhaul explains his model of the brain’s 23 structures to AP Psychology teacher Crystal Lewis. Photo by Vicki Kennedy / Arendell Parrott Academy

Don’t know your amygdala from your parietal lobe? Well, stop scratching your cerebral cortex and let Advanced Placement Psychology students at Arendell Parrott Academy give you a tour of what’s inside your skull.  

In late October, 34 AP Psych students took up teacher Crystal Lewis’s ”Brain Project” challenge and created unique models, collages, songs, poems, and skits depicting the anatomy of the brain and the functions of 23 different brain structures.

Lewis asked her students to use a personal hobby or passion to depict the brain’s complexity. Working individually or in small groups, they then gave an oral presentation of their project to the class, including a Q and A session.  

 APA student Ava Haddad used floral images to illustrate the brain’s structure.  Photo by Vicki Kennedy / Arendell Parrott Academy

APA student Ava Haddad used floral images to illustrate the brain’s structure. Photo by Vicki Kennedy / Arendell Parrott Academy

Sarah Frances Bailey created a sculpture of the brain split in two, using flags and a booklet “key” to show inner and outer structures. “Point to the parietal lobe,” Mrs. Lewis directed, and without scratching her head even once, Sarah Frances pointed correctly. “But why are those two parts side by side?” a student asked, and Sarah Frances explained the interconnected functions of two brain structures.  

Drew Dacey, who once had a passion for sewing, used fabric patches on a Styrofoam skull to illustrate different areas. Gabby Carriere and Cambria Duke co-authored an 18 stanza song, while Anelisa Holder wrote a poem entitled “My Brain is a Complex Thing.”

One of the most unique projects displayed Kinston student Ava Haddad’s interest in gardening and floral decoration. She created a picture of the brain and brain stem from images of different flowers.

Each flower’s color and form related to the function of the structure it depicted. Like other students, Haddad turned in a list of citations for every image and every fact she sourced from the internet.

“Planning and labeling this art project really helped me learn these tough anatomy terms,” senior Yasmine Habal noted. Songwriters Cambria and Gabby agreed: “ This was a good catchy way for us to remember a lot of hard facts.”

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