U of S brings Brain Awareness Week to local classrooms

SASKATOON - Students at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) will travel to elementary school classrooms, teaching children about head and brain injury prevention, while also promoting brain research during Brain Awareness Week (BAW).

A model MRI, a hands-on model neuroscience laboratory, Jeopardy and a mock Jell-O brain are just a few of the hands-on activities used during BAW which runs from March 12-18, 2018.
Lisa Poon, the co-ordinator of Brain Blast and Brain Wave for the Saskatchewan Neuroscience Network, together with U of S students, will be bringing Brain Wave presentations to selected Grade 3 to 6 classrooms across the city. Activities are focused on teaching elementary students fun facts about the brain, as well as practical advice on preventing injury such as proper adjustment and wearing of helmets.
“Brain Blast is aimed at teaching the community about the importance of brain research and some of the exciting work being done right here at the University of Saskatchewan,” said Poon. “It’s a free, family-focused event and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.”
The week ends on Sunday, March 18 with Brain Blast at Saskatoon City Hospital from 12-3 pm, featuring a series of activities aimed at the whole family including a model MRI machine, neuroscience lab set up, Jeopardy and other interactive “brain stations.” Visitors are encouraged to bring their snowboard and bicycle helmets for some expert fitting service.
Brain Bee, a competition for high school students modelled after a spelling bee, will also be hosted on March 18 at City Hospital. The international program is focused on motivating students to learn about the brain and inspiring them to pursue neuroscience careers.
“Brain Bees test your knowledge on a wide variety of topics, from memory, sleep and sensations, to things like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, stroke, schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, addiction and brain research in general,” said Poon.
There are about 150 local Brain Bee co-ordinators in 30 different countries that conduct competitions, and winners can progress all the way to the annual International Brain Bee Championship.
This year also features a new collaboration with the Saskatchewan chapter of Café Scientifique. U of S researcher Robert LaPrairie will deliver a presentation on what cannabinoids are and why they are important to science. This event is open to the public. 

For more information, contact:
Lisa Poon
U of S Co-ordinator, Brain Awareness Week
University of Saskatchewan
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