Sensationalizing the classroom


Olivia LaVoie (10) gets her tongue painted green by Madison Frederick (11) on Sensation Day in AP Psychology class. LaVoie turned out to be a supertaster.

Jessica Wojton


In the days before Thanksgiving break, Mr. Ralph Holden, Social Studies, and Mrs. Teresa Zentz’s, Social Studies, AP Psychology students had the chance to take a break from lectures and notes and got hands-on teaching with sensation and perception that correlated with the unit the classes were learning.

“I liked that the labs gave us a chance to get out of our desks and try something new and fun, but still educational,” Olivia LaVoie (10) said.

One station had pieces of candy and pretzels for students to take and place on the most sensitive parts of their tongue. Another station gave students the opportunity to put on goggles that simulated what a person sees if they are intoxicated.

“My favorite part was definitely the drunk goggles because it showed how your perception could be way off. You can’t always trust what your eyes were telling you,” Adenike Oladeinde (10) said.

The last station was with Mrs. Zentz painting green food coloring on a student’s tongue and seeing if white bumps were present on their tongue that indicated if they are a “supertaster.” If a person was a supertaster, they would be more sensitive to certain foods. Only a few students in all of the classes were supertasters.

“Honestly, I wasn’t surprised when I found out I was a super taster because I thought prior to the lab that I was one. Basically, a super taster is someone who has a super keen tongue and is able to pick up even the slightest tastes. Supertasters tend to be picky when it comes to food,” LaVoie said.

With all of the stations and components combined, students found Sensation Day to be very helpful in their learning process for the unit and upcoming test.

“I learned how the specific parts of my body control certain areas of my sensory intake and how they can affect my everyday life if they’re altered, and it helped me better understand the unit because I got firsthand experience on how my body reacts to areas of the sensory cortex,” Francesca Pezzuto (12) said.