March 16: Behavioral Neuroscience Program to Host Brain Expo

Feb 27, 2018


Student talking to parent and childIn conjunction with Brain Awareness Week, the Behavioral Neuroscience program at Randolph-Macon College will host its second-annual Brain Expo on March 16, 2018. This fun, interactive exploration of the brain will take place from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Brock Sports and Recreation Center (400 N. Center Street). Children of all ages (and adults) are welcome at this free event. Map and Directions

The Brain Expo is sponsored in part by the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications, and educational programs.

The Science of the Brain
Behavioral Neuroscience Professors Massimo Bardi and Kim Gerecke, in collaboration with Sammi Scarola '18 (behavioral neuroscience and chemistry major), organized the event. Bardi says the Brain Expo is a great way for children to learn about the science of the brain.

"Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research," says Bardi, director of the Behavioral Neuroscience program. "At our Brain Expo, there will be 20 hands-on stations that explain the science of the brain, plus fun games."

This is Scarola's second year as student coordinator for the event.

"The Brain Expo is a unique and engaging opportunity for children to learn about the brain," she says. "With exposure to the brain sciences being minimal at those young ages, it is critical that these students have an enriching and interactive way to learn important lessons about the brain that they can apply to their everyday lives."

Hands-on Activities
Participants can explore the mystery of the brain through hands-on activities, including: "How to Lose Your Own Hand," "Monkey See, Monkey Do," "Making Your Own Neuron," and "Create a Brain."

"There's good research that shows that teaching kids that their brains continue to grow as they learn, and that intelligence is not a fixed thing, improves resilience and academic self-esteem in children," says Gerecke. "In addition, positive attitudes and interest in science and technology fields often start early on, so exposure to fun science activities can really help plant the seed for them to go on to become future scientists themselves. And, bringing young children to a college campus exposes them to college life, and can spur them to begin to think about going to college themselves. Thus, these events serve to not only increase awareness of brain science, but also to potentially inspire a new generation of future scientists!"