Students learn about the human brain and what different parts of the brain do during science class. One of the many activities that a student can participate in while learning about the brain is to create a human brain out of a styrofoam ball. Using paint and the styrofoam give the student a hands-on experience in learning the parts of the brain and allows her to see the information visually.
Draw the shape of the brain onto the styrofoam ball with a marker. The brain is circular in shape with a bumpy top, a ridge down the middle to show the two halves of the brain, and the bottom narrows down to a point in the back where the tissue connects to spinal tissue.
Mark the styrofoam with the marker to show yourself where you are going to trim and shape the ball into a human brain shape. A picture of the human brain can be found on the Brainsource website, and it will help to show you the shape of the brain.
Cut into the styrofoam ball with a sharp knife. Follow the lines that you placed on the ball to shape a brain out of the styrofoam. Do not cut to deepl, because parts of the styrofoam could break off.
Mark the centre of the ball of styrofoam with your maker, and use the knife to create the ridge by pressing into the top of the brain and carving with short strokes from the top to the bottom of the middle of the brain. This will create the ridge.
Dig out up to a quarter of an inch of the styrofoam on the sides of the brain with your knife to show the bumps of the tissue mass in the brain. The brain will not be perfectly smooth and it should show the bumpy textur, but you can use scissors to help smooth and cut the ball into shape as needed. Do this by holding the scissors on its side with the shears open, and using one shear, rub over the styrofoam. Discard all extra styrofoam.
Place your styrofoam brain on a flat surface. Using the grey paint, paint the surface of the styrofoam. Allow one to four hours for the brain to dry before attempting to move it.
Things you need
- Picture of a brain
- Large round styrofoam ball
- Gray paint