In grade 8, students are studying the adolescent brain. Adolescents and their development are often misunderstood. Mood swings, impulsive actions, the need for more sleep are just some of the changes as the adolescent brain undergoes massive growth and development as it works toward full maturation around age 25. As adults, we are often needed in the role of a teen's pre-frontal cortex, guiding them in their choices and decisions.
Students recently began investigating the adolescent brain, its parts, and behaviors often associated with the maturing brain. They are learning how mental health and the use of substances factor in to the already complicated understanding of how and why adolescents behave the way they do, how they seem to need so much sleep, and how their decision making and judgment can seem off kilter.
Scientists and researchers have conducted many studies and taken MRI images of the maturing adolescent brain and we now know how the brain "prunes" away the old to make room for the new! I am looking forward to what our eighth graders learn and discover not only about the brain, but about themselves as developing young adults.