“Brain Awareness Week is a nationwide effort to support the benefits of brain research,” says Anna Brettman (12), IB Psychology student and planner in Western Michigan University’s Brain Awareness Fair. Brettman, along with other students and IB Psychology teacher Mrs. Thole, have collaborated with Neuroscience Professor Lisa Baker of WMU to support public and personal neuroscience awareness through the Brain Awareness Fair.
Brain Awareness Week, officially from March 10th to March 16th, is part of the national movement to promote public and personal awareness of the benefits of research on the brain and neuroscience. In order to promote Brain Awareness Week, Dr. Baker joined with Northern psychology students to plan and carry out the Brain Awareness Fair, to be held on Saturday, March 29th, from noon to 4PM in WMU’s Haenicke Hall. “[Dr. Baker] wanted to do something where Northern students could get involved,” says Brettman. “We decided to do an event supporting research with activities open to a broad range of ages and people.” In the past, Northern students and Dr. Baker’s graduate students have worked together to host other events relating to neuroscience.
Northern IB Psychology students have created and planned several activities and events to support brain research at the Fair. Activities such as animal brain model painting and constructing neurons through art will be available for younger children, neuron key-chain making and animal to brain matching for older children, as well as, lab tours by WMU professors and sheep brain dissections will also be taking place for older audiences.
“I am most excited to see my high school students work with the young ones, including my 3-1/2 year old granddaughter,” says Mrs. Thole. “It will be a joy to see them share their enthusiasm about the amazing brain.” With a wide variety of activities for all age groups, WMU’s psychology department with Northern’s IB Psychology students endeavor to advocate the importance of brain research and neuroscience.