Brain Awareness Week
By: Kara Cover
Another successful Brain Awareness Week outreach in local schools!
Each year in March the Dana Foundation sponsors Brain Awareness Week (BAW), a global campaign with the purpose of increasing public awareness about the importance of brain research. This year, the Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Association (NOVA), along with the Program in Neuroscience Student Training Committee, celebrated BAW by bringing neuroscience out of the lab and into local high school and middle school classrooms. Graduate students and staff visited three schools - Sparrow’s Point High School, Long Reach High School, and Hampstead Hill Middle School - to discuss brain research and offer hands-on activities. Students learned about the critical role of electrical signaling in the nervous system by recording invertebrate neural potentials as well as controlling classmates’ muscle reflexes with human EMG interface technology. Students also examined preserved sheep, human, and rodent brains in a demonstration of comparative functional anatomy. In the end, students walked away with a greater sense of what brain research means; they discovered not only how interesting neuroscience is, butalso how fun it can be to use these tools to answer big questions.
This year’s activities were a huge success, and they were made possible by funding from UMB GSA for materials. NOVA organizes outreach events throughout the year and welcomes new volunteers to participate. For more information on getting involved, visit https://umbconnect.umaryland.edu/organization/nova or email Amanda Labuza at email@example.com.