On March 16th, 2017, the Medical Center Graduate Student Organization (MCGSO) hosted close to 100 7th graders from Hardy Middle School for Brain Awareness Week (BAW). BAW, observed every March, is a global campaign to promote interest and awareness in neuroscience research.
Graduate students from Georgetown University Medical Center led various hands-on, interactive learning stations to shed light on the structure and functions of the brain. The Control and Inhibition station offered information about neuroanatomical directions of the pre-frontal cortex and how people learned about the brain before they were able to take photos of it. Next up at the Reflex Test station, students had the chance to perform the pupillary light reflex and the patellar (knee jerk) reflex on each other using a penlight and reflex hammer.
The opportunity to hold and observe the human brain was a highlight of the day for the 7th graders. Station leaders assisted the students in locating specific regions of the brain and instructing them about the related functions. Numerous animal brains were also available for students to observe. Before the day ended, the students learned about neurons, their structure, and how they communicate with each other. Each student was able to make their own model using pipe cleaners and pom-poms.
The busy day finished with a game of Jeopardy. At every station, the students were asked to retain pieces of information about the brain in preparation for the game. The groups were split up and throughout the game, students excitedly yelled and jumped up in their seats with the answers. Thanks to MCGSO for organizing the fifth annual BAW event with Hardy Middle School.