Hey Kids! Do you like reading books and imagining adventures of heroes and heroines?
Do you enjoy science experiments and dream of making a new discovery? Are you interested in rugby or baseball or in other sports and do you spend lots of time practicing in order to become an excellent player? Well Luke Rickard, age 10, (the boy in the picture above), lives in Dublin, Ireland and he loves playing rugby, reading books and doing science experiments and science activities at home or in school. In fact he asked his Mom and his teacher to help him learn about his brain last week for Science Week in Ireland and this is what he put together (ok with help from his mom:)) to present to his class.
The first thing he discovered was that all of these activities that he loves doing involve the use of his nervous system, which is a network of tissue that sends and carries messages to all the different parts of the body. This system evolved in order for him to sense his environment and respond precisely to changes within and outside of his body. The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord while as the peripheral nervous system is made up of those all those other branch-like nerves, big and small, that extend throughout our bodies right out to our internal organs, limbs, muscles, skin, fingers and toes.
The peripheral nervous system is divided into two parts:
- The autonomic nervous system located in the base of this brain, or brainstem, preforms involuntary functions (involuntary means we are not conscious of doing them) like the beating of our heart, the digesting of our food and breathing.
- The somatic nervous system, responsible for nearly all voluntary muscle movements as well as for processing sensory information including hearing, touch and sight.