How to Make a Brain Model

Learning how to make a brain model is great science project. Not only does the model give a great 3D illustration of the surface of the brain but also it will totally amaze and gross out your friends.

Basics of Brain Models
There are several ways to make a human brain model. You can make one with everyday household supplies or use a brain mold, which can be found at a science supply or joke shop.

If you're building a brain model from scratch, keep the basic shape in mind. The human brain is shaped like a large grape, with a pronounced divide running down the center of the top. The brain contains thousands of tiny folds, which you can carve into the sides.

Mashed Potato Brain

1.5 cups instant potato flakes
2.5 cups hot water
2 cups clean sand (can be found at home building stores or landscaping stores)
1 gallon Ziploc bag

Place all the ingredients into the Ziploc bag and combine thoroughly. You can squish the mixture around with your hands or you can use a spoon to stir it. After mixing completely, the bag should weigh about three pounds and have the consistency of a real brain.

Flour Brain

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup salt
  • Red food coloring

Mix the water, flour and cream of tartar in a large bowl or blender until the lumps disappear. Stir in the vegetable oil. Pour the entire mixture into a saucepan. Place on the stove over low heat and mix until it gets lumpy. Dump the mixture out and let it cool. Then knead and shape it into the form of a brain.

You can add wrinkles (gyri) to your brain. It is a nice touch to squirt in the red food coloring for blood vessels.

Gelatin Brain
Purchase a brain model from a science or joke shop. Choose your favorite flavor of gelatin. Follow package directions for making the gelatin. Pour into brain mold. Allow to set overnight, then unmold onto a plate or tray.

A gelatin brain model will wriggle like the real thing, plus you can eat it when you're done studying. Try different color combinations, or add food coloring to give your brain a realistic grey color.

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