The Brain goes to Stevensville!

Stevensville opened its doors and welcomed us and our Brain exhibit into its halls. Around 500 students visited us in total, and about 60 people participated in Family Science Night. This time we had mostly younger kiddos (grades K-7) in our audience.

These young Stevensville students were a lot of fun to teach! Coming in to the presentations, the kindergarteners were ready to raise theirs hands and point to where their brains are (in their heads, thankfully). They already knew that their brains help them think, play, grow, and pick out Halloween costumes, but they were all  surprised to learn that they had electricity in their brains (in the form of synapses and brain waves).

First graders loved the Visual Rebound exhibit. Many of them showed super adaptable brains, making more baskets with the brain boggling goggles on than off!

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Visual rebound challenges students to get their brains to adapt to changes in vision brought on by wearing our Brain Boggling Goggles

After visiting us, the second graders decorated the school halls with smart and colorful hand-drawn pictures of the lobes of the brain. Several of the third graders also made us smile when they offered us high-fives and called out “Science rules!” whenever we saw them in the halls and the schoolyard. The Stevensville students asked us lots of great questions, such as: where do headaches come from? And, why do we dream?

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The sheep brain dissection station

Family Science Night was packed, with the brain dissection and the Mind Flex game drawing eager audiences. A pair of twins performed an intense neck-and-neck stand-off in Mind Flex, as did many pairs of best friends, parents, and siblings.

One teacher told us that our exhibit fit in really well with their curriculum, which made the trip to Stevensville that much more rewarding!

Thanks for having us, Stevensville!

This stop was powered by the Jane S. Heman Foundation

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Stevensville students battle with brainwaves in the Mind Flex game.

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The Brain Hits the Road: Our Fall Tour Kicks Off in Corvallis!

Hello again, MosSe Readers!

At last! We’ve kicked off spectrUM’s new fall tour, taking our neuroscience exhibit, “The Brain: A World Inside Your Head,” to Corvallis High School, where we saw about 600 middle and high school students during the school day, plus numerous students brought their parents and siblings back for a night of neuroscience exploration at our Family Science Night.

Our exhibit began with our colorful Colossal Brain, which shows the different lobes of the brain in large scale. The Corvallis students were ready and enthusiastic and already knew some great brain facts! Together, we solved some puzzling medical mysteries: these astute detectives diagnosed head injuries and helped our “patients” understand why they were experiencing weird sensations like loss of smell or blurry vision.

Our 3 hands-on and up-close brain stations let students interact with the world inside their own heads. The Visual Rebound station had students AND teachers eager to line up and test the plasticity of their occipital lobes (the lobe that processes vision) by shooting hoops while wearing brain boggling goggles. It’s difficult to say which was Corvallis’s favorite exhibit, but this one kept people coming back.

Students were certainly wide-eyed and inquisitive during the sheep brain dissection and made a lot of great observations about the brain like, “It looks like it has a bone in the middle; what is that?!”; “It’s all folded and wrinkled and it’s all one color!” and “It’s flatter than a human brain and the stem goes back instead of down!” Groups were eager to put on gloves and pick up the brain for a closer look.Image

Our Making Waves exhibit, which tests the intensity of students’ highest level of consciousness, was also a big hit. By concentrating to produce beta-brainwaves, students used their cerebral sensors to communicate with a game board and make a ball perform feats. With this extraordinary mind-body experiment, students experienced the brain’s power in live action. Everyone seemed to have a different trick for getting the ball to hover: some thought about math, or playing music, while others concentrated on football plays or just commanding the ball to move with their minds.

At Family Science Night, kids challenged their parents to contests of beta-brainwave brawn and, less competitively, also got a chance to teach them about what they had learned.

With their challenging questions,  great participation, and astute observations, the Corvallis group is sure to produce some promising scientists and doctors!

This stop was powered by the Jane S. Heman Foundation