FOSS Module Summary

Course Summary – Human Brain and Senses (1st Ed.)


The FOSS Human Brain and Senses Course emphasizes the use of knowledge and evidence to construct explanations for the relationship between structure and function in the human sensory and nervous system. Students investigate how the brain and senses acquire, interpret, and respond to information. An emphasis on vision and touch leads to investigations of the structure and function of the sensory organs and the brain itself. Images (MRI and EEG) are used to reveal brain anatomy and activity. Students also explore learning, memory, and sensory dysfunction.


  • Discover their own best strategies for memorizing and learning, after being exposed to a wide range of learning strategies.
  • Become familiar with the external and internal structures of the mammalian eye and consider the function of the various components.
  • Investigate the properties of lenses and how these properties affect the function of their own eyes.
  • Investigate the structure and function of the retina.
  • Understand the structure, orientation, and function of the brain, using the connection between the eyes and the brain as a starting point.
  • Understand the role of the brain in creating meaning out of the sensory signals it receives.
  • Compare the structures and functions of the touch system to the visual system.
  • Explore neurotransmission and the structures that support the process.
  • Acquire vocabulary concerning these concepts: structure, function, perception, stimulus, response, learning, neurotransmission.
  • Exercise language, social studies, and math skills in the context of science.
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations: observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, relating, and inferring.

For a description of each investigation in the Human Brain and Senses Course and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Course Summary PDF.

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