The pituitary gland is located at the base of your brain, and is an important part of the endocrine system that controls your hormones. Although just the size of a pea, it secretes nine hormones that control growth, blood pressure, body temperature , metabolism, and more.
This online textbook from the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University is perfect for high-school students that want more in-depth information about the pituitary and the endocrine system. Introductory material (such as this page) are marked with a red apple by the title, while more advanced articles are coded with a teacher/blackboard icon. "The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that controls an immense number of bodily functions. It is located in the middle of the base of the brain, and encapsulates the ventral portion of the third ventricle."
"So, what's the endocrine system? It's a little-known system made up of a whole collection of glands and it does very BIG things. It regulates, coordinates and controls an extraordinary number of your body's functions. " This one-page article for grades 5 to 8 introduces hormones, and the role they play in puberty. Click on Body Systems in the blue breadcrumb menu at the top of the article to access articles about your muscular system, nervous system, digestive system and cardiovascular system.
This animated slideshow for pre-teens also focuses on hormones and puberty. "Hormones are produced in glands that make up the endocrine system. These hormones are then packaged into the bloodstream (this is called secretion) and sent to do their work all over the body." I found the sound effects annoying, but loved both the lesson and the drag-and-drop labeling exercise. Luckily my computer speakers have both an on/off switch and volume control.
"You have a variety of endocrine glands in different sizes and shapes located in different parts of the body. You might be surprised to learn that the pituitary (say: pih-too-uh-ter-ee) gland, which is about the size of a pea, is the ?master gland' of the endocrine system." In addition to this one-page endocrine overview, there are links to related articles, and games at the bottom of the page. Don't miss the Endocrine System Movie.
"The pituitary gland is very important as it takes messages from the brain (via a gland called the hypothalamus) and uses these messages to produce hormones that affect many parts of the body, including stimulating all the other hormone-producing glands to produce their own hormones." For middle-school and high-school students (as well as grownups), this illustrated article shows the location of the pituitary gland, and links to the another article on how the pituitary gland works. There is also a glossary of related terms (look for the link in the right-hand column.)