Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
A. July Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
The BrainBank web site contains teaching resources from the 2011 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures of Professor Bruce Hood. The simple navigation bars at the top of the opening page provide three choices: Home, Instructor Notes and Teaching Materials. Instructor Notes provides information about how to use the web site and some links to other resources. The Teaching Materials button leads you to the main (fun) part of the site with three additional choices: Brain Biology, Brain Function and The Social Brain. Selecting one of those choices accesses experiments that you can do. Video clips from the lectures are used to illustrate the experiments and demonstrations.
If you just want to watch the lectures (highly recommended), visit:
Camp was filled with a variety of activities including hands-on experiments, field trips, art projects and games. The experiments all came from the Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience lessons and included plant extractions, planaria movement, Lumbriculus heart rate monitoring and cockroach leg nerve recordings. Campers also made an herbal first aid kit and created their own scent using essential oils. Hikes to the botany greenhouse, medicinal garden and Hyde Herbarium got everyone outside, even in the pouring rain.
Tie dyeing a T-shirt and scarf was a favorite activity of many of the campers; it is a bit messy, but everyone wore gloves as they colored their materials. Another favorite activity was the Auditory Treasure hunt. In this activity, campers were divided into four teams as they explored the University of Washington campus listening for different sounds and writing down what they heard. Teams were challenged to find sounds that no other team had heard. My team headed down to the waterfront adjacent to the University of Washington where we heard waves lapping on the shore, a duck splashing in the water and a boat motor. We then headed up to the main campus into the student union building and heard a ping pong ball, a zipper and the crush of a potato chip bag. After ten rounds of the game, my team ended with the most unique sounds.
On the final day of camp, students had lunch outside in the middle of campus and then walked up to the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering where I work. I set up many games, demonstrations and activities that the campers used. We snacked on "brain jello" and then distributed the washed and dried tie-dyed shirts and scarfs. Then, we all walked back to the pick-up area and said our goodbyes.
The success of the camp is due to the hard work of the Seeds of Neuroscience staff including Kristi Straus, Marcia Johnson-Witter, Elischa Saunders, Brigitte Tennis, Soleil Groh and Shengzu Tong.
If you are interested in seeing the camp in action, please see the Bloomin' Brain Photo Album at:
For competition guidelines, please see:
B. From the August 2014 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN magazine:
"Accidental Genius" by Darold A. Treffert
"Scientists Bring New Rigor to Education Research" by Barbara Kantrowitz
"Stop Lecturing Me" by Carl Wieman
C. "Secrets of the Creative Brain" by Nancy C. Andreasen (July/August
2014 issue of THE ATLANTIC magazine).
B. The brain of the African elephant has 257 billion neurons.
C. The cerebral cortex of the African elephant weighs 2848 grams.
D. The hippocampus of the African elephant weighs 24.42 grams.
E. 97.5% (250.7 neurons) of all of the neurons in brain of the African elephant are located in the cerebellum.
(Source for all statistics: Herculano-Houzel et al., The elephant brain
in numbers, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 8:1-9, 2014.)
Help Neuroscience for Kids
Your comments and suggestions about this newsletter and the "Neuroscience for Kids" web site are always welcome. If there are any special topics that you would like to see on the web site, just let me know.
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.