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Museum of Discovery showing off brain power | News

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Museum of Discovery showing off brain power

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (March 16, 2013) - Museum of Discovery is hosting Brain Awareness Day today, March 16, in conjunction with National Brain Awareness Week. 

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. representatives from the Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Hendrix College and University of Central Arkansas (UCA) will offer hands-on exhibits and demonstrations on the brain for visitors of all ages.

The first 725 visitors will receive $2 off their admission. 
"Scientific outreach activities such as Brain Awareness events are very important to help kindle interest in science and encourage scientific achievement in young students who participate," said Dr. Jeff Padberg, assistant professor of neuroscience at UCA. "Engaging the youth of Arkansas in scientific exploration of the world around them, as well as increasing scientific literacy of students at an early age, are the goals of this event."
Brain Awareness Day demonstrations include: 

  • "Your Brain on Jell-O" is an interactive exhibit that will allow children to touch artificial brains made of Jell-O and powdered milk.   The activity will show the fragility of the human brain as well as demonstrate its overall size, shape and form. Children 5 and older will use cake frosting to place artificial arteries on the Jell-O brains. Children 4 and younger will use a "brain mold" to make a moon sand brain.
  • "Behavioral Tasks" will show how an Operant Test Battery assesses the intelligence of a monkey
  • "Your Brain and You!" is a hands-on exhibit that will offer many activities describing the shape of the brain. Visitors can color and create their own brain headband and sculpt brains out of clay. Adults will receive information on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research being conducted at the Brain Imaging Research Center at UAMS while children will learn how MRIs work from a display using magnets and iron filings.
  • "What Can We Learn from Animal Brains?" will show why some animals can give clues as to how the human brain works. Stained sections of armadillo and rat brains will be presented on a microscope along with a rat atlas.
  • "Visual Illusions: Fooling the Brain!" will provide a variety of visual illusions and explain how the mechanisms employed by the eyes and brain that support visual perception can also be deceiving. 

"Hosting Brain Awareness Day is in lockstep with our mission at the Museum of Discovery," said Kelley Bass, museum CEO. "We strive to ignite a passion for science, technology and math in a dynamic, interactive environment - and that's all about engaging the brains of our visitors. So many of our programs and exhibits are about helping visitors understand how things work, as are so many of the exhibits and demonstrations that will be featured during Brain Awareness Day. It's a perfect fit."
For more information on Brain Awareness Day at Museum of Discovery, contact 501-396-7050.

(Source: Museum of Discovery)


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