More than 630 elementary school children from around the Tri-state region will visit the Memorial Student Center Friday to participate in activities designed to help them learn about the brain and nervous system.
The sixth Brain Expo at Marshall will feature more than 25 interactive stations where children will explore how the various parts of their nervous system are responsible for how their bodies function and learn how healthy lifestyle choices lead to better brain health. Activities will include testing their reflexes, playing memory games, coloring their own “brain hats” and building brain cell-shaped key chains.
More than 200 Marshall students and faculty from the College of Science and Psychology Department, as well as the Department of Neuroscience at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, will oversee the activities. The St. Mary’s Medical Center also will be on hand with a station about brain and spinal cord safety.
The event is part of Brain Awareness Week, an annual global effort founded in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The Brain Expo at Marshall was founded by Dr. Nadja Spitzer and Dr. Brian Antonsen, both of whom are neuroscientists and assistant professors in the Department of Biological Sciences.
“Events like the Brain Expo are an excellent way to increase public awareness of brain research at Marshall and gain the interest of students who may choose a career path in science, technology, engineering or mathematics,” said Spitzer, the program director. “People are fascinated by the brain and there are many fun hands-on activities, like optical illusions, that show how the nervous system works. Our goal is to interest children in science and research at a young age by using games and activities that demonstrate the relevance of neuroscience in everyday life.”
Spitzer said registration for this year’s event is full, but anyone interested in next year’s program can e-mail email@example.com.
For more information about the Brain Expo and Marshall’s Brain Awareness Program, visit www.marshall.edu/baw.
The Brain Expo is supported by the National Science Foundation (Cooperative Agreement Award number EPS-1003907) and the College of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Cell Differentiation and Development Center, and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.