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Vision and Change Teacher-Recommended Collection: Autonomic Nervous System and Homeostasis

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Description Collection Description
This collection introduces students to the autonomic nervous system and reflexes in the body that help to maintain homeostasis.

How were the items in this collection used?
It was used to introduce the topic of the autonomic nervous system using the “Am I in Control of my Body?” analogy and activities. Students did the case study to get more familiar with the impact of the nervous system on blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. The arcade was used by students to familiarize themselves with words and ideas relating to the nervous system, this was provided as a link on the course webpage for students to use at their discretion. Students were exposed to the data in the Salivary Cortisol article and asked to predict results and interpret the data presented in the article, connecting it back to the autonomic nervous system and regulation of homeostasis. They completed the Snooze you lose? Lab for a hands on experience with the autonomic nervous system as well as an opportunity to design and implement an experiment of their own, interpreting the results of the class.

Who used this collection?
Instructors who teach and introductory level Human Physiology class or a combined Anatomy and Physiology class, at the high school or college level.

Which of the V&C Core Concepts does this collection address?
Structure & Function ('Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.')
This activity allows students to explore the structure of the autonomic nervous system and connect it to the function.

Systems ('Living systems are interconnected and interacting.')
The nervous system maintains homeostasis by sending chemical messages around the body to effectors.

Which of the V&C Core Competencies and Disciplinary Practices does this collection address?
Ability to Apply the Process of Science ('Biology is evidence based and grounded in the formal practices of observation, experimentation, and hypothesis testing.')
Students design an experiment, conduct it, collect data, analyze data and interpret it.

Ability to Use Quantitative Reasoning ('Biology relies on applications of quantitative analysis and mathematical reasoning.')
Students analyze data from an article as well as their own data collected during an experiment.

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Type of Resource Annotated Collection
Format Multiple Formats
Grade/Age Levels Undergraduate lower division (Grades 13-14)
Undergraduate upper division (Grades 15-16)
Learning Time 4-6 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed by Partner Organization

Resources in Collection
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This collection should help my students to get interested in the subject and probably get them to think about Physiology from an earlier stage itself.


This collection has excellent resources. I'm not a fan of the Anatomy Arcade, though...way too many advertisements on the site.  I like the mix of resources---labs, case studies and articles.  Diversity is good.

—Wendy Riggs, College of the Redwoods