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  1. My steam project is based on the nervous system, highlighting the locations the nervous system occupies in the simple stick figure made up of licorice. The names of the nervous system regions are identified and located respectively. The backdrop is a paper plate large enough for the figure to be laid out for display, and for the writing to associate the information to the region and to help the reader better understand the information I am trying to display for the reader. The limbs and the spinal cord are experiencing different kinds of trauma to display the idea of the project, the effect of injury on the nervous system, and the implications of nerve damage on the human body and its results. The various types of nerve damage are the pinched nerve along the spine, represented by the twisted, worn-down area of the vertical licorice. There is a damaged nerve on the licorice standing in for the right arm. The licorice has a pinched region that is representative of a crushed nerve. Both the nerve damage to the arm and the spine were a compressive force on the nervous system, the tissue is still connected and there was no severing of the neuro link in the nervous system. Along the right leg is a unique type of damage to the nervous system. This twisting of the licorice represents the dissolved nerve. The effect of the dissolved nerve is AP is interrupted when it was sent from the brain to the muscle. On the left leg, there is a representation of a severed nerve, something that would be seen in an amputated appendage. The damage to the nervous system would be severe. The appendage could be re-attached to the body, but the damaged nervous system will never completely heal, and will always have some level of error. A severed nerve will show the action potential being lost at the site where the neuromuscular network is severed. Any region below the damaged nervous system will not receive any AP and the muscles will be left unable to perform contractions or follow any commands sent from the brain. Should the appendage be reattached, and the nerves sewed together, the Action Potentials will not be received fully below the site of the injury because the nervous system is too delicate, and modern technology is not advanced enough to heal the human nervous system after being damaged. In comparison, the brain is like a major broadcasting network, the spinal cord is like their major satellite sending signals to the atmosphere for the satellites in orbit. The different nervous system zones are like the satellites in orbit, which receive signals from the satellite at the broadcasting network and send that signal down to be received by the television satellite on a house. The neuromuscular junction is the site where AP travels down the neuro network and is received allowing the muscle to follow the command sent from the brain to the site of the muscle. The muscle is the satellite on the home receiving signals from the satellites in orbit. The AP signals are like the tv show or movie being watched at the home residence. Any damage to the nervous system that results in AP being interrupted during transfer is like a blackout or signal interference for the major broadcasting network. The difference is satellites and broadcasting signals are significantly easier to repair than a damaged nervous system. My inspiration for this topic is my Mom, she was in a bad vehicular accident back in the 1980s and experienced significant spinal trauma, and she has had to live with that pain for 40 years now, this project is one interpretation of how the nervous system works, and I hope there is a time where severe nervous system damage can be repaired so that other people don’t have to suffer needlessly as my mother has.

    Nathan Gilreath

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