Investigation: Concussions

This investigation is completed by watching videos and analyzing data on concussions. Students first watch a Ted-Ed video on what happens when you have a concussion. The digital handout contains questions from the video.

Students then visit where they view coronal brain slices. Then they label an image and compare a normal brain versus a brain with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

The next section introduces the concept of Tau tangles and shows sections of the brain. Brain autopsy data reveals the stage of CTE and tau tangles in different areas of the brain. The areas of the brain include the frontal lobe, amygdala, and hippocampus.

A final data chart compares symptoms of football players diagnosed with CTE to show of CTE affect behavior, memory, cognitive ability, speed, and balance. A second data set compares CTE cases to how long a person played football.

A final synthesis requires students to take a position on whether the Youth Soccer Association should have a policy that prevents young players from using their heads to hit the ball. The practice was banned in 2015, but only for younger players. Students are asked to support their position with evidence from the investigation.

I plan to use this activity with my honors Anatomy and Physiology students and it has been modified for remote learning. It may be too long for other groups of students but could be modified.

In fact, this activity was shared with me and I altered it to work for remote learners and added the CER at the end as well as additional questions throughout.