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Neuroscience For Kids

2012 brain awareness week open house

pic Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a international effort started by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. The official week for the next BAW is March 12-18, 2012, but any time is a good time to get involved.

BAW was celebrated on March 7, 2012, at the University of Washington when 600 students in grades 4-12 attended an Open House. The Open House was supported by the Pacific Cascade Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, and the Hope Heart Institute.

To start the Open House, students were led by Dr. Eric Chudler through an interactive, multimedia "Brain Assembly" to learn about the nervous system. The students learned about neurotransmission, compared the brains of different animals and played with some visual illusions.

Students then visited exhibits set up by University of Washington departments and other organizations. Students were connected to a transcranial Doppler machine to measure their brain blood flow (UW Dept. of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine). The Neurobiology and Behavior Community Outreach Program had exhibits to test the senses and materials to build neuron models. The Pacific Science Center provided many exhibits that they bring out to schools. The DO-IT program, UW Department of Otolaryngology, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, Department of Biology, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, Unite for Sight, Youth Take Heart program and Seattle Hydrocephalus Support Group also provided exhibits.

Favorite Exhibits

  • Planaria exhibit (stem cells)
  • Doppler brain blood flow
  • Comparative neuroanatomy display
  • Visual illusions
  • "Magic" water illusion
  • Face painting
  • Fly flight simulator
  • Prism goggles
  • Dr. Chudler's Brain "Assembly"
  • Auditory exhibits
  • Bird Songs
  • Mirror drawing
  • Brain hats/make-a-neuron

Teacher Comments


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