WMU holds fun, informative Brain Awareness Fair

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Photo of a neuron.

Fair organizers aim to boost public knowledge of brain science and health.

KALAMAZOO—Students of all ages are invited to build a model neuron, conduct sensory experiments, tour scientific research labs, study brain specimens and take part in other fun, neuroscience-focused activities during a Brain Awareness Fair set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 29, in Western Michigan University's Haenicke Hall.

Along with being entertaining, the Brain Awareness Fair is intended to spark interest in the study of this complex organ while enhancing public awareness of brain science and brain health, especially given the incidents of neurological disorders and conditions in society.

Advancing public education

"Enhancing public awareness of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, and advancing public education about brain health are key goals of the Society for Neuroscience public outreach campaign," says Dr. Lisa E. Baker, a professor of psychology who directs a behavioral neuroscience lab at WMU.

Baker organized the fair with the assistance of Portage Northern High School teacher, Susan Thole, and several of her students.

Some of Saturday’s hands-on activities, such as building neurons using pipe cleaners and beads, may appeal more to elementary-age students, while other activities are designed to appeal to all ages. Those activities include neuroscience lab tours and studying brain specimens.

The fair will take place in the atrium as well as in the neuroscience research labs of Haenicke Hall, a scientific research facility on the west side of main campus.

Saturday’s fair is made possible by a Society for Neuroscience chapter grant to the Michigan Chapter Society for Neuroscience.

For more information, contact Dr. Lisa E. Baker at (269) 387-4484 or lisa.baker@wmich.edu.