Brain Awareness Week 2012

On Monday, April 2nd (2012), the Neuroscience Club once again took part in Brain Awareness Week, a community outreach program initiated by the Society for Neuroscience to increase awareness about the brain and behavior.  Members of the Neuroscience Club brought fun and interactive demonstrations to two different schools.  For the morning session they visited Heim Middle School in Williamsville, NY, and for the afternoon session they visited Highgate Heights Elementary in Buffalo, NY.  These demonstrations were the first real exposure to Neuroscience for many of these students, and they were enthusiastic, curious, and engaged.

The demonstrations were organized and run by members of the Neuroscience Club, which consists of graduate students from the Neuroscience Program and the Behavioral Neuroscience Program at the University at Buffalo.  The elementary/middle school students were shown human, sheep, and rat brain specimens, viewed slides of the brain through a microscope, learned about attention and perception, and took part in interactive demonstrations that illustrated how their senses integrate information.  These demonstrations provided a fun introduction to brain anatomy and physiology, sensory perception, and behavior.  The event was very well received by the students and faculty at both Heim Middle School and Highgate Heights Elementary School.  This continues the Neuroscience Club’s proud tradition of Brain Awareness Week events and community outreach.  This is the 5th consecutive year that the Neuroscience Club has visited local elementary and/or middle schools for Brain Awareness Week, and they look to carry this tradition well into the future.

The following Neuroscience Club members provided their time and effort to make the event a success:   Jia Cheng, Tom Covey, Lara Duffney, John Fleites, Jay Garaycochea, Mateen Haroon, Sarah Hayes, Tad Kaczynski, Jason Kushner, Ginger Lasky, Yina Ma, Claire Modica, Meaghan Paganelli, Kim Plyler, Daniel Stolzberg, and Pete Vento.  In addition to the hard work of Neuroscience Club members, this event was well supported by members of the faculty at the University at Buffalo.  Dr. Malcolm Slaughter and the Neuroscience Program provided financial support for the event and provided lunch for the graduate students.  Dr. Joan Baizer provided the brain slides, Dr. Derek Daniels provided the sheep and rat brain specimens, and Dr. Michal Stachowiak provided the human brain specimens.  Dr. Ray Dannenhoffer made the name tags for all of the students.  Thanks to the support of the faculty and the hard work of the Neuroscience GSA members, this year’s Brain Awareness Week was another huge success!

See below for a few pictures from this year’s Brain Awareness Week:

Students learning about brain anatomy using a sheep brain specimen

Students being shown a human brain

Attention and perception demonstration

Students being taught about brain physiology

Student viewing microscope slides

An interactive demonstration about sensory input

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