Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
Here is what you will find in this issue:
1. What's New on the Neuroscience for Kids Web Pages
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest - Now Open
4. Society for Neuroscience Meeting
5. Brain Awareness Week 2004
7. Media Alert
8. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
9. Support Neuroscience for Kids
10. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. November Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. January 2004 Neurocalendar
C. Do Snakes Have a Preference for Coiling Direction?
D. Contagious Yawning
E. Hippocampal Neurogenesis Relieves Depressive Symptoms
F. FDA Cautions Against Antidepressant Use in Children
In November, 31 new figures were added and 103 pages were modified.
CISEO was established 13 years ago at the University of Arizona to develop lessons for teachers and scientists about using live insects in the classroom. These lessons teach health and science concepts and are available on the CISEO web site in English and Spanish.
The web site is divided into two main sections. The section titled "Using Live Insects in Elementary Classrooms for Early Lessons in Life" contains A) 20 lesson plans to teach kindergarten through third grade students about science, health and math, B) 17 information sheets with facts about insects, C) 17 rearing sheets with information about maintaining insects and D) an extensive bibliography about different insects. Several experiments deal directly with neuroscience. For example, "Getting to Know You" uses mealworms to teach about mental health, "Using My Senses" uses crickets to teach about the senses and "Bug Eyes" uses praying mantid to teach about the eye.
The second section, titled "Acres of Insects," is intended for teachers of high school classrooms. This section has two hands-on, inquiry-based experiments about human ecology.
CISEO also has a list of companies that sell insects...just in case you
can't find any bugs under some rocks and leaves.
The SfN also hosted 30 K-12 teachers at the meeting. In fact, I met a few teachers who found out about the SfN meeting by reading the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter! A travel stipend of $1,000 was given to five teachers to help them attend the meeting.
On Saturday, November 8, the SfN Committee on Neuroscience Literacy sponsored a workshop for teachers. The teachers toured several laboratories at Louisiana State University Medical Center where they saw neuroscience in action. The teachers also participated in hands-on workshops highlighting ideas to bring neuroscience into the classroom. On Sunday, the teachers could attend presentations by three successful programs that have established partnerships between neuroscientists and schools.
Approximately 250 high school students from the New Orleans area also visited the meeting. These students listened to presentations by past SfN presidents Dr. Donald Price and Dr. Huda Akil. Following these presentations, neuroscientist guides took the students on a tour of the main exhibit where they viewed scientific posters and picked up toys, pens, calendars, erasers, magnets and other promotional items from various vendors.
The SfN meeting will be held next year (October 23-27, 2004) in San Diego,
CA. The Committee on Neuroscience Literacy is already hard at work
planning new workshops for K-12 teachers and high school students.
I strongly encourage you to participate in BAW. Your BAW activities do not have to be complicated. Perhaps your class can develop a "Brain Fair" for other students, parents and teachers. There may be neuroscientists who can visit your class with a presentation about the brain. BAW is a time when many neuroscientists are looking for classes to visit. The Society for Neuroscience maintains a list of neuroscientists interested in K-12 education outreach. Check this list to find a neuroscientist near you:
*** SPECIAL NOTE TO TEACHERS IN THE SEATTLE AREA ***
Do you want to bring your students (grades 4-12) to the 2004 Brain Awareness Week Open House at the University of Washington on Wednesday, March 24, 2004? We are now accepting applications. Please complete and return the application form (in either PDF format or WORD format):
To read about last year's BAW Open House at the University of Washington, please see:
If you cannot download the application form for the open house, contact
Dr. Chudler by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
B. The December 2003 issue of Discover magazine is full of neuroscience-related stories: i) "The Power of Babble," about babies' brains and babbling, pages 30-32; ii) "Blast from the Vast," about a scientist who scanned a 600-pound whale head to unlock some of the mysteries of how marine mammals produce sounds, pages 50-57; iii) "Testing Pesticides on Humans," about neurotoxins in pesticides, and how they affect our daily life. Pages 66-69; iv) "The 8 Greatest Unanswered Questions of Medical Science" on pages 70-76 includes What Causes Alzheimer's Disease?, Can Aging be Arrested? and Can Humans Learn to Regenerate?
C. "Decoding Schizophrenia" by Daniel C. Javitt and Joseph T. Coyle in the January 2004 issue of Scientific American.
D. "Real Rhapsody in Blue" by Anne Underwood in Newsweek magazine
(December 1, 2003, page 67) discusses synesthesia. For another discussion
of synesthesia, see: http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/syne.html
B. John Adams (2nd President of the US) and his son, John Quincy Adams (6th President of the US), were both born in Braintree, Massachusetts.
C. In 2001, approximately 22.8% of the adults in the US were smokers. In 1993, approximately 25.0% of the adults in the US were smokers. (Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 52:953-956, 2003.)
D. Adolf Eugen Fick coined the term "contact lens." He made the first contact lens for vision correction from glass in 1887. (Source: A.S. Harding. Milestones in Health and Medicine, Phoenix (AZ) Oryx Press, 2000.)
E. Right-footed African Grey parrots have a larger vocabulary than
left-footed African Grey parrots. (Source: Snyder, P.J. and Harris, L.J.
Lexicon size and its relation to foot preference in the African Grey
parrot "Psittacus erithacus", Neuropsychologia 35:919-926, 1997.)
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.
"Neuroscience for Kids" is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center of Research Resources.