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Bedford Hills Students Learn About Their Senses
Bedford Hills Elementary School fifth graders got more in touch with their senses earlier this month during an enrichment program with Chris Cellini of High Touch High Tech of Connecticut. Students learned all about the central nervous system and some cool new things about how and why they perceive their senses during a hands-on lesson.
The first thing students did was build their own central nervous systems with wire, batteries and a sensor. Once it was built, touching the sensor resulted in a buzzing sound.
“Imagine you’re making pancakes and you’re on the phone and really distracted and you put your hand on the stove,” Cellini said. “What happens? Your nerves send a message to your brain that it burns. We call that a reflex.”
To study reflexes a little further, students had the opportunity to use a reflex hammer on their peers. Hoping for a real reflexive reaction, they distracted each other with questions like What’s your favorite ice cream? When’s your birthday? and What comic books do you like?
Afterward, they learned how their senses worked. For hearing, they had to guess the size and shape of objects inside a mystery box. Next, they did a blind smelling test — which turned out to be much more challenging than students expected.
“Your brain is not very good at deciphering smells,” Cellini explains. “It brings up a memory of the last time you smelled that scent and it guesses based on that.”
Lastly, students got to build an eyeball. In the process, they learned that our eyes see things upside down and backward but our brains translate the information for us.
Students were in awe of some of these new facts and had a lot of fun discovering new things about their bodies.
“My favorite part was smelling the different scents because it was fun trying to figure out,” said Jeaslim Perez. “It’s like tricking your mind.”
“I liked the smell part too,” added Eric Molnar. “It was a little hard to guess at first. Some smells you’re more used to — and I didn’t guess the vanilla extract even though I cook with it when I make cakes sometimes.”