how to make working model of the human nervous system that uses cardboard and LED lights


To create a working model of the human nervous system that uses LED lights to represent the transmission of nerve signals.

Materials Needed

  1. Large poster board or foam board (for the base)
  2. Craft materials (clay, pipe cleaners, etc. for creating neurons and body parts)
  3. LEDs (different colors for sensory, motor, and interneurons)
  4. Batteries (to power the LEDs)
  5. Insulated wires
  6. Switches (optional, to control individual LED circuits)
  7. Hot glue gun or strong adhesive
  8. Markers or paints (to label and decorate)
  9. Breadboard (optional, for organizing circuits)

Step by Step Video Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Base

  1. Draw the Outline:
    • On the poster or cardboard, draw a basic outline of the human body including the brain, spinal cord, and major nerves extending to the limbs and organs.
  2. Label the Parts:
    • Label key components of the nervous system, such as the brain, spinal cord, sensory neurons, motor neurons, and major nerves.

Step 2: Create the Neurons

  1. Craft the Neurons:
    • Use clay or pipe cleaners to create models of neurons. Differentiate between sensory neurons, motor neurons, and interneurons by using different colors or shapes.
    • Sensory neurons: Represented by one color (e.g., blue).
    • Motor neurons: Represented by another color (e.g., red).
    • Interneurons: Represented by a third color (e.g., green).
  2. Attach LEDs to Neurons:
    • Attach an LED to each neuron model. The LED will light up to show the transmission of nerve impulses.
    • Ensure the LED leads (anode and cathode) are accessible for wiring.

Step 3: Create the Circuits

  1. Plan the Wiring:
    • Plan the wiring layout so that when a switch is turned on, the LED in the neuron lights up, simulating the transmission of a nerve signal.
  2. Connect LEDs:
    • Connect insulated wires to the LED leads. Use a breadboard if needed to organize connections.
    • Connect the positive lead (anode) of the LED to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative lead (cathode) to the negative terminal.
  3. Add Switches:
    • If desired, add switches to control the flow of electricity to each LED. This allows you to demonstrate individual neuron activation.

Step 4: Assemble the Model

  1. Attach Neurons to the Base:
    • Secure the neuron models onto the poster board at appropriate locations (e.g., sensory neurons near sensory organs, motor neurons near muscles).
    • Use the hot glue gun to attach them firmly.
  2. Connect Wires:
    • Carefully run the wires along the drawn outline of nerves on the board, securing them with glue or tape.
    • Ensure all connections are secure and insulated to prevent short circuits.
  3. Label the Connections:
    • Label each part of the circuit to show which neurons are sensory, motor, or interneurons.

Step 5: Testing and Decoration

  1. Test the LEDs:
    • Turn on the switches to ensure each LED lights up correctly, demonstrating the flow of nerve impulses.
    • Troubleshoot any issues with connections or LEDs.
  2. Decorate the Model:
    • Use markers or paint to decorate the base, making the model visually appealing and easy to understand.
    • Add labels and explanations for each part of the nervous system and how the LEDs represent nerve signal transmission.


This working model of the nervous system with LED lights effectively demonstrates the concept of nerve signal transmission.

The LEDs lighting up sequentially can simulate the pathway of nerve impulses from sensory input to motor output, providing a visual and interactive method for understanding the nervous system’s function.

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