CSHL scientists build “brain caps” with 100 elementary students for Brain Awareness Week

March 13, 2014

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I brought together a team of CSHL scientists this week to visit a local elementary school in honor of Brain Awareness Week. We taught 50 second graders and 50 fourth graders about the structure and function of the nervous system. Each scientist talked about their work, highlighted a particular structure and described its function. The students heard from Francesca Anselmi, Brittany Cazakoff, Lital Chartarifsky and Balazs Hangya.

One aspect of our presentation that intrigued students was how photo 2-1many mysteries there still are about the brain. For instance, why is the occipital lobe at the back of the brain when the eyes are at the front? Why do we dream when we sleep? Why is it so hard to treat brain disorders like stroke and epilepsy? Their curiosity was inspiring and their enthusiasm was infectious. Communicating science to a broad audience always renews my curiosity about the brain, and makes me feel lucky to have a lab with the tools to dig deep and address some of the many still unanswered questions.

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