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October, 2008

Neurons: Animated Cellular and Molecular Concepts
Take high school students on "field trip" into the nervous system.
Grade Level: 9-12

This site from researchers at the University of Toronto offers interactive presentations and animations that explore how the neurons work and what actions they perform.
The simple design follows a table of contents format with eight chapters. Visitors to the site can follow chapter by chapter or jump to the chapter of choice by clicking on the chapter number at the top of the page. Chapters with sub-topics are also listed in the main area of the front page.

These animations and presentations could be useful to the science or health teacher to supplement curriculum and to enhance the learning experience in the classroom. The content is divided into eight chapters including Anatomy of a Neuron, Axonal Transport, Ions and Ion Channels, Resting Membrane Potential, Action Potential, Neurotransmitter Release, Postsynaptic Mechanisms, and Removal of Neurotransmitter. Each of the sections includes explanations with hyperlinks for viewing the images or animations. Users can also review the pages in a chapter by clicking the page numbers in the bottom left corner of the pages. Included is a How to Use the Program with helpful hints for navigating the site and a list of all the available animations that can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes.


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