Have you ever wondered ...
- how the brain sends messages?
- if "brain waves" are for real?
- how your ears make sense of sound?
- how your eyes detect light?
- what a brain feels like?
- what it looks like inside an eye?
These are just a few of the questions students in Professor Joseph Schroeder's behavioral neuroscience class will help local children answer during the sixth annual Connecticut College Neuroscience Fair on Saturday, April 30.
Schroeder, assistant professor of psychology in the Behavioral Neuroscience Program, started the fair as a way to help his students grasp the complexity of the topics they study: If they could explain something to schoolchildren, they themselves would have a clear understanding of it. It proved to have an additional benefit when it sparked more interest in science among the kids who participated, which is of particular importance these days.
"The U.S. is quickly falling behind other nations in science education, which could have a profound impact on our ability to remain a science research world leader," said Schroeder. "So every opportunity we have to show kids that science is 'cool' helps."
For the fair, his students put together short demonstrations, games, crafts and interactive exhibits designed to teach elementary and middle school students something about brain functioning. Especially appealing to kids will be brain anatomy exhibits in which they can examine brain specimens, vision, hearing, taste, smell and reflexes as well as games that will measure the kids' brain activity and a brain version of Jeopardy.
The Neuroscience Fair is free and open to kids of all ages. It takes place Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the 1941 Room of the College Center at Crozier-Williams.