W&L Celebrates Brain Awareness Week with Local Elementary School Students Students from W&L’s Neuroscience Program hosted an event for local elementary students on March 18.
Neuroscience students at W&L took brain knowledge out of the classroom and put it into the hands of Lexington-area elementary school students – literally. Brain Awareness Week is an annual nationwide event in March that brings together scientists, researchers and students for creative activities in their communities that share the wonders of the brain and the impact of neuroscience on our everyday lives.
On March 18, W&L’s Neuroscience Program hosted an event through the YMCA After School Program. Esther Assenso ’22 and Lauryn McCray ’22 organized the event with Sarah Blythe, associate professor of biology at W&L.
During the event, neuroscience students from W&L organized four different activities to share information about the brain. The activities included a sheep brain dissection in which the elementary school students could touch a sheep brain and learn to identify its various parts. Students also made edible neurons with assorted candy, as well as constructed a neuron keychain made of pipe cleaners. Participants rounded out the day by putting on more than their thinking caps when they made brain hats.
“The Neuroscience Program is excited about the return of doing outreach events with schools in the community,” said Assenso. “The brain is not something these students will typically learn about in a classroom setting. Brain Awareness Week provides a great opportunity for W&L students excited about neuroscience to share fun, hands-on instruction about the brain.”
Assenso said her favorite part about the day was taking neuroscience outside of the classroom.
“The kids were so excited to poke sheep brains and wear their brain hats, which made planning and being an event facilitator more rewarding,” said Assenso. “I think we empowered them. Science can be very complex, making it a daunting path to pursue, but it’s also cool, fun and so exciting. It’s great to have an event where Neuroscience Program students get to demonstrate the fun side of science.”