This kinesthetic, color-coded simulation helps students visualize how an action potential travels down a neuron.

Done as a whole-class, students move pom-pom "ions" across a membrane to simulate how an action potential is propagated along an axon.


Pom Pom Potential Print-and-Go

Color Overheads Only

MaterialsPrior Knowledge Needed

Neuron, axon, membrane structure, carrier proteins, ions

Time Required

Class Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes

You'll Need:
. 600 green pom-poms
. 300 blue pom-poms
. 1 large bag of small candies (M&M's®, Skittles® or jelly beans)

Pom Pom Potential PDF Pom Pom Potential PDF

Descriptive illustrations walk you through each part of the simulation procedure from start to finish. Download the PDF.

Colorful Overheads PDF Colorful Overheads PDF

Colorful overhead masters show your students how their simulation relates to a real action potential. Download the overheads.