Updated November 2015

NOVA: Body + Brain

Engaging multimedia hooks help students learn about the human body

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Science, Critical Thinking

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NOVA: Body + Brain is filled with articles, video clips, and multimedia interactives that keep kids interested in biology, anatomy, and human health. It's great for anyone looking to use that gross-out factor to hook kids. For example, the quick, three-minute video "How Dirty Are Public Restrooms?" can help kids see the "Mapping the Brain" interactive. Here, they'll look at different parts of the brain using simulated MRI or PET scans. Exploring cell division and human development? Get kids excited with the video "Replacement Body Parts," which shows how scientists could grow a new heart.

NOVA: Body + Brain doesn't include any lesson plans aligned to the Next Generation of Science Standards. However, teachers can do some digging to find just the right resources to engage their students. With a bit of work, you could easily integrate this tool in a way that meets the Next Generation of Science Standards. Biology students could use the "Map of the Human Heart" interactive to see how blood gets oxygenated as it moves throughout the different chambers of the heart. But you may have to help students move beyond this simulation to create their own models that show how multiple systems work together to accomplish this task.


  • Mapping the Brain: Image the brain using simulated PET scans or MRIs.
  • Replacing Body Parts: Watch a video about how scientists are making new organs.
  • Nigeria’s Bet on Beating Drug-Resistant Malaria: Read articles highlighting the health issues that affect our world.
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