Drugs, Risks and the Nervous System

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In this activity, learners estimate risks associated with different events and compare their estimates to the real possibilities. Use this activity to investigate how chemicals influence the function of the brain and nervous system as well as the health risks associated with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. This lesson guide includes background information and handouts.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • roll of clear tape, 0.5 in.
  • pair of scissors
  • sheet of paper, 8.5 x 11 in.
  • copy of What Are the Odds? and The Risks student sheets


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
      • Health and Nutrition
      • Medicine
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Perception
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Probability
    • Measurement
      • Rate
    • Number and Operations
      • Fractions
    • Reasoning and Proof
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes assesments for student learning:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Moreno, Nancy P. ; Tharp, Barbara Z.


  • All rights reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, 2003

Funding Sources:

  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Center for Research Resources
  • Science Education Partnership Award, R25 RR13454