Baltimore Brain Awareness Week
NOVA Stimulates Student Minds During Brain Awareness Week
By Chase Francis
Every March the Dana Foundation promotes Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.
Students from the Program in Neuroscience here at UMB contribute to Brain Awareness Week each year by visiting local schools to discuss brain research and demonstrate neuroscience in action through interactive activities. This year, a group of students from the Neuroscience Outreach and Volunteer Association (NOVA) visited four schools across four days. The UMB GSA and the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience supported their efforts, providing NOVA with funding for equipment and materials. In lessons designed by the graduate students, the intricate structure and complex function of brain regions were discussed, utilizing homemade brain caps and real plasticized human brains.
Brain machine interfaces were also explored by recording high school student’s brain waves, neural potentials, and muscle potentials, giving students a hands-on look at the function of their own neurons and mind. All in all, over 25 students and faculty from UMB, NIDA, and NIAAA collaborated to participate in these exciting activities, teaching more than 600 K-12 students! This is by far a record for NOVA, and they plan to expand the program even further next year. To join NOVA or inquire more about the group and its other exciting outreach activities, please contact email Amanda Labuza for more information.