Brain Day 2017 – the Science of Brains!

Prof. Walsh helps a visitor map her somatosensory homunculus

The 9th annual Brain Day will be held at the Carnegie Museum in Crawfordsville on Saturday, October 28th from 1-4pm. This year’s theme is “The Science of Brains!”

Since 2009, Wabash faculty and students have partnered with the Carnegie Museum to lead an afternoon of brain-related activities for all ages. Like Brain Awareness Week, which is organized by the Society for Neuroscience, Brain Day is intended to demonstrate basic principles of brain function, and to help us all better appreciate and care for our brains. The Brain Day program is an annual event for children and families, with hands-on activities to demonstrate how our brains work. Faculty from Wabash’s Biology (Dr. Heidi Walsh) and Psychology (Drs. Karen Gunther and Neil Schmitzer-Torbert) departments will be joined by several Wabash students and other volunteers to lead the event.

With generous funding through the Indiana Humanities “One State / One Story: Frankenstein,”* we will be bringing in a new experiments in mind control and upgrading your taste buds! And, several favorite activities will be back, such as the “remote-controlled” cockroach and lots of brains!

For more information, you can visit our event on Facbook, or visit us on the Wabash Psychology and the Carnegie Museum pages!

*Note: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the Brain Day program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Neuroscience Fair Outreach

On Friday, Alec Bertsch ’18, Anthony Douglas ’17 and Mason Hooper ’18 travelled across town to Crawfordsville Middle School (CMS) with Prof. Schmitzer-Torbert. Our Wabash students were invited by CMS science teacher, Shannon Hudson, to provide feedback to middle-school students who have been preparing neuroscience research projects. Mrs. Hudson’s students presented ten research projects, on topics ranging from the effect of sleep deprivation on reaction time to methods to speed up recovery from dizziness. This is the second year that our Wabash students and faculty have provided feedback to CMS students on their neuroscience projects. In both years, the range of neuroscience topics and the enthusiasm of the middle-school students for neuroscience was wonderful to see!

Alec Bertsch ’18 reviews a neuroscience research project.

The CMS students will be travelling to Indianapolis in April to present their work at the 2016 Neuroscience Brain and Beyond Fair. In 2015, Mrs. Hudson’s class won top honors in the first Neuroscience Brain & Beyond Fair, where they competed against four other schools. We wish them the best of luck, and are looking forward to another strong performance!