North Star students examine the physics of concussions

UNL assistant research professor Doug Schultz explains to North Star students the set up of the brain.

North Star High School explored how physics lessons are applied in common medical practices by learning about traumatic brain injuries and concussions from University of Nebraska - Lincoln researchers.

“It helps put perspective and an image in your brain of how momentum works in the real world besides what happens on pen and paper,” North Star senior Rion said. 


A researcher from the UNL Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior shared the effects of momentum on the brain and how scientists treat and analyze brain trauma. The presentation explained concussions, brain biology, MRIs and current research with UNL student-athletes. 

“It raised some awareness of how common it is and how to easily understand things like MRIs and what treatments are available,” senior Faith said. 

North Star science educators got the idea after touring the UNL Brain, Biology and Behavior Center and meeting with researchers during a Lincoln Public Schools professional learning opportunity.

North Star science teacher Karen Covil collaborated with other LPS instructors to develop a physical science and physics unit evaluating traumatic brain injuries. She said inviting a researcher was an extension of her students’ learning. 

“Real-life and relevant connections help students to better engage with science concepts being taught in the classroom and helps to foster active participation with lessons because they have an interest or curiosity about the topic,” Covil added. 

Teachers hope the lesson shows students how the sciences are interconnected and utilized to solve everyday problems. 

“I think it’s great to be an example to students in these classes that there are people who use these things. These things are not useless. There are applications and it’s worth learning these things,” UNL assistant research professor Doug Schultz said.  





Published: January 26, 2023, Updated: January 26, 2023