As part of Brain Awareness Week, Weber State University’s neuroscience program hosted the Build Your Brain event at the Treehouse Museum on March 10 and 12. During this event, children were taught all about the brain, which can be a difficult concept to grasp.

Sheep brains were used to show kids parts of the brain in a physical way. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
Sheep brains were used to show kids parts of the brain in a physical way. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)

Students from Title I schools could come with free admission to explore the museum and the stations about the brain. This allowed more children to have access to further their learning.

Allyson Barraza, president of the WSU neuroscience club, said they want to help kids understand and learn more about their brains and regulating their emotions.

Aminda O’Hare, director of the neuroscience program, explained that the program received a grant from the Hall Foundation in 2020 to do this event with the Treehouse Museum. However, they had to wait a couple of years due to COVID-19.

A child gets to touch a model held by Grace Godfrey of the nerves in the brain that correlate with physical senses. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
A child gets to touch a model held by Grace Godfrey of the nerves in the brain that correlate with physical senses. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)

O’Hare said over 480 people came the first night and she was excited about the turnout.

Stations were both hands-on and visual, allowing children to explore the many aspects of the brain.

Some stations allowed the children to touch and feel how the brain sends signals to receptors. Others showed children how to make bracelets that looked like axons that carry the signal out of the cell to the brain.

Bradee Dall showing kids optical illusions and explaining how the brain sees things. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
Bradee Dall shows kids optical illusions and explains how the brain sees things. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)

Additionally, there was a real brain showcased at the event for the children to see what the organ looked like, along with a mini-lecture on how to keep the brain safe.

It can be hard to teach children about the brain, but Ashleigh Steed, secretary of the neuroscience club, found a way to do it.

#weberbrains pins were handed out to the kids who attended the neuroscience event. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
#WeberBrains pins were handed out to the kids who attended the neuroscience event. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)

“The best approach yesterday was asking kids what they knew about the brain and building off of that and finding a common ground to engage with them,” Steed said.

Children were running from station to station, excited to see what their brains looked like and see the optical illusions that could trick their brains.

Grace Godfrey explains to a child the senses of the body that has to do with touch. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
Grace Godfrey explains to a child the senses of the body and how they correlate with the brain. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)

The event at the Treehouse Museum brought more awareness to the children, letting them learn a little more about the importance of their brain and the things it can do and open their eyes to an opportunity to go into neuroscience.

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