The Synapse

The Synapse: An Engineering Design Challenge
A Week-long Curriculum Unit for Grades 9-12 Chemistry and AP Chemistry Classes

In this unit, students will design, construct, and test a device that optimizes the transfer of electrical current from one electrode to another. The engineering design challenge is placed within the context of sensorimotor neural engineering. The lessons were developed by Paul Zimmer of South Kitsap High School (Port Orchard, Wash.) and Denise Thompson of Orting High School (Orting, Wash.) as part of the 2015 CSNE Research Experience for Teachers program.

Note: This is a draft unit currently undergoing piloting in classrooms.

Download the full PDF here.

Lesson One: Introduction to Neural Engineering

Lesson Two: The Synapse & Action Potential

Lesson Three: Designing a Synapse with the Neuron in Mind

Lesson Four: Neuroethics and Brain-Computer Interfaces