How stress affects your brain


Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. This video shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.

Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1. Where are the endocrine glands that control the HPA axis?

a) Brain and spinal cord

b) Skin and heart

c) Brain and kidneys

d) Stomach and kidneys

2. How does increased cortisol make you more afraid?

a) It increases the activity of the neurons in the fear center of your brain, the amygdala

b) It decreases the activity in your frontal cortex, which controls courage

c) It tricks your brain into thinking there’s danger

d) It increases connections between neurons

3. What function does the hippocampus NOT control?

a) Learning

b) Fear

c) Memory

d) Stress

4. How does chronic stress affect your brain’s size?

a) It makes a swell like a balloon

b) It reduces synaptic connections between neurons, causing the brain to shrink

c) It increases synaptic connections, and therefore shrinks

d) It doesn’t, your brain size never changes

5. What are epigenetic changes?

a) Changes to your genetic code, caused by environmental factors

b) Changes in which genes are expressed, caused by disease

c) Changes in which genes are expressed, caused by environmental factors

d) Changes in your genetic code, caused by disease

6. What are some ways to manage stress?


The Creators :

Madhumita Murgia   Educator

Andrew Zimbelman  Director

Andrea Sertz Jew  Producer

Joshua Smoak  Composer

How sugar affects the brain


When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine — an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more.

Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1. Sugars are ________________ processed foods such as tomato sauce, dried fruit, and granola bars.

a.  added to

b. removed from

c. neither added to nor removed from

d. activated in

2. Sugar ___________ the brain’s reward system.

a. destroys

b. represses

c. activates

d. does nothing to

3. Overstimulation of the reward system may result in

a. Loss of control

b. Craving

c. Increased tolerance

d. All of the above

4. What important chemical in the brain is changed in response to sugar ingestion?

a. Melanin

b. Insulin

c. Urea

d. Dopamine

5. What kind of diet has an effect in the brain that is similar to eating a balanced meal?

a. Eating sugary foods once in a while

b. Eating sugary foods all the time

c. Eating only processed foods

d. Eating about 4 sugar cubes before each meal

6. Using the information from the video, briefly describe how eating sugar can lead to greater cravings, loss of control, and increased tolerance.


The Creators :

Nicole Avena   Educator

Chris Boyle  Director

How do carbohydrates impact your health?






The things we eat and drink on a daily basis can impact our health in big ways. Too many carbohydrates, for instance, can lead to insulin resistance, which is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. But what are carbs, exactly? And what do they do to our bodies?


Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1.  Glucose, fructose and galactose are all types of:

a) Monosaccharides

b) Disaccharides

c) Polysaccharides

d) Oligosaccharides

2.  In starches, the glucose units are joined together by:

a) Oligosaccharides

b) Peptide bonds

c) Alpha bonds

d) Beta bonds

3. Which of these foods would have the lowest glycemic index?

a) Crackers

b) White bread

c) Rice

d) Scrambled eggs

4.  Which hormone is largely responsible for facilitating the movement of glucose out of the blood and into the body’s cells?

a) Testosterone

b) Estrogen

c) Glucagon

d) Insulin

5. What is thought to be the underlying cause of metabolic syndrome?

a) Insulin sensitivity

b) Insulin resistance

c) High blood cholesterol

d) Cigarette smoking

6. Why do foods like meat, cheese, and eggs have the lowest glycemic index?





The Creators :

Richard J. Wood   Educator

Eleanor Nelsen  Script Editor

Qa’ed Mai   Animator

How smart are dolphins?














Dolphins are one of the smartest animal species on Earth. In fact, their encephalization quotient (their brain size compared to the average for their body size) is second only to humans. But exactly how smart are they?

Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1.  Cetaceans are descended from land mammals who:

a. Had horns

b. Were closely related to sharks

c. Had hooves

d. Had very large brains

2. About 35 million years ago the early versions of modern dolphins:

a. Became larger in body size than the previous group of cetaceans

b. Developed more formidable teeth than their predecessors

c. Still lived on land part of the time

d. Started to echo-locate

3. Dolphins have meta cognition. This means:

a. They can understand an artificial language

b. They can think about their own thoughts and report on them

c. They can imitate

d. They can use echolocation to see inside of prey

4. The Dolphin Sponge Club:

a. Is an example of cultural tool use

b. Is a group of dolphin researchers in Florida

c. Is a group of captive dolphins who have learned the names for different colored sponges

d. Is a group of dolphins who make sponges from man-made plastic items found in the ocean

5. A mass stranding of dolphins:

a. Is due to the poor navigational abilities of many dolphin species

b. Is often a result of the loyalty a group has for one sick or injured individual

c. Is a cultural tradition

d. Represents the dolphins’ desire to go back to a terrestrial lifestyle

6. What are some of the reasons you can think of for why dolphin ancestors adopted an aquatic lifestyle?




7. What are some of the ways communication might be used for cooperative hunting?




8. How would being compassionate and empathic be advantageous for dolphins?




The Creators
Dr. Lori Marino   Educator
Michael Kalopedis  Director
Maria Savva   Animator
Alex Gendler  Script Editor
Zedem Media  Producer
Jeanne Bornet  Artist
Andreas Trachonitis  Sound Designer

How do vitamins work?









Vitamins are the building blocks that keep our bodies running; they help build muscle and bone, capture energy, heal wounds and more. But if our body doesn’t create vitamins, how do they get into our system?

Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1. Humans need the correct amount of vitamins to function. Too much or too little of any one vitamin can cause problems. List five vitamins and problems associated with too much of each one.




2. How many vitamins are necessary to keep the human body running?

a) 1

b) 3

c) 5

d) Too many to count

e) None are essential

3. Which vitamins are water-soluble?

a) A & B

b) B & C

c) C & D

d) D & E

e) E & K

4. Where can you find water-soluble vitamins in your body?

a) Skin cells

b) Muscle

c) Blood

d) Fingernails

e) Saliva

5. How do lipid-soluble vitamins from milk and butter dissolve in the body?

a) They are covered by lipid droplets and moved around the muscles

b) They are absorbed directly by the blood because our blood plasma is lipid-based

c) They can’t be dissolved because we can’t absorb them

d) They are broken down by acids from the intestines and absorbed into the blood

e) They are consolidated into large particles and stored in a specific place in the body

6. Which benefits can vitamins provide our body?

a) Release energy from food

b) Defend infection and immunity

c) Make blood and bones

d) Make sure all the cells are working properly and sufficiently

e) All of them

7. How many fruits and vegetables do you need to get enough daily vitamins?

a) Eat as much as you can of any one fruit or vegetable; there’s no limitation

b) Don’t get too many of any one fruit or veggie; levels can become toxic

c) One apple per day is enough to have all vitamins you need

d) Fruits and vegetables aren’t necessary; we can eat meat to get all the necessary vitamins

e) Different fruits and vegetables provide different vitamins, and we need them all

8. Record 10 new words you want to learn in your vocabulary journal

The example of vocabulary journal :








The Creators :

  1. Ginnie Trinh Nguyen
  2. Assaf Benharroch
  3. Nadav Arbel
  4. Emma Bryce
    Script Editor

What is the World Wide Web?







The World Wide Web is used every day by millions of people for everything from checking the weather to sharing cat videos. But what is it exactly?

Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1. The World Wide Web and the Internet are the same thing, just called different names.

a) True

b) False

2. Who owns the World Wide Web?

a) Tim Berners-Lee

b) Web Hosts

c) Internet Service Providers

d) No one and everyone

3. Hyperlinks help us connect information in a similar way as our brains think.

a) True

b) False

4. What do you need to be able to find websites online easily?

a) Map

b) Domain name

c) Street sign

d) Coding experience

5. What do you need to start a website of your own?

a) A place to host your web files

b) A domain name that directs people to your space

c) A way to turn your information into web languages (HTML, JavaScript)

d) All of the above

6. Why does no one own the web?




Lesson by Twila Camp

Getting started as a DJ: Mixing, mashups and digital turntables









DJ and producer Cole Plante is only 17 years old, but he’s already worked alongside industry superstars Skrillex, Avicii and Major Lazer (to name just a few). In this combination talk and DJ set, Plante shows off his mixing magic and gives tips to aspiring DJs.

Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.

1. Plante says that the thing that’s great about DJing is that you can ________.

a) Combine various genres into one idea (dance, jazz, rap, hip hop, etc.)

b) You can take one genre and improve upon it

c) DJing can change the original intent of an artist and make his/her work better than it was before

d) All of the above

2. What is a mashup?

a) When a DJ raises a lever all the way up to the top of the scale, increasing its influence on a track

b) Taking two or more tracks and “mashing” them into one

c) When you mix more than one genre to create a completely new genre

d) None of the above

3. Plante says that the best way to really learn is to ________.

a) Write your own software

b) Only listen to dance music

c) Take a college course

d) Ask a friend

4. List at least one of the effects a DJ is able to achieve by using a mixer.




5. Explain why it’s easy to get started as a DJ.





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