Summer SAVY 2018: Session 6, Day 5 – Neuroscience Navigators (Rising 2nd)
Well, we made it! What an awesome week we had in Neuroscience Navigators! It was great to meet you all at open house. I hope you enjoyed getting to see and experience some of things we’ve been working so hard on this week. Once we wound down from early morning activities, we completed our final individual concept maps to show what we learned. I must say, these were impressive! We then got to finally do our dissection of sheep brains, where we applied our new knowledge of neuroanatomy, anatomical orientations and directions, and different tissue types. We even got to poke around and feel these real brains! An extra cool specimen had its vasculature died red, allowing us to appreciate this critical component of the brain which supplies the necessary oxygen and nutrients to our ever-hungry neurons. This is also the source of the fMRI signal we discussed earlier in the week.
After we got cleaned up, we finished the day with a lesson about concussions and a final experiment. We learned the brain has some built-in protection from injury by being surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid. We simulated this with an egg-drop experiment where we surrounded raw eggs in Styrofoam cups with either nothing (air), peanuts, macaroni noodles, flour, or water. We then dropped these “skulls” onto pavement to see which provided the most protection. Low and behold, the water-surrounded eggs were the only that survived unscathed, with the water absorbing a significant amount of the impact! This evolutionary adaptation of neuroanatomy is truly ingenious! Despite this, we discussed how even minor head injuries can cause damage, and the best practice is always to protect our brains with helmets and safe play!
It was truly a pleasure to spend a week with these brilliant young minds! They all have the potential to be excellent neuroscientists one day if they wish. I let them know this and that there is still so much to learn, we are going to need them! I hope everyone has a great rest of the summer. Enjoy second grade!
Photos From Open House