A Brain Awareness Week activity that encourages children to make a ‘brain' out of vegetables is just one of the many on offer thanks to staff and students at The University of Western Australia.
To be held at Scitech, the activities aim to provide a basic overview of what the brain is and why it is important.
UWA's Assistant Professor Jenny Rodger, one of the organisers, said they hoped to stimulate discussion at home by using simple language and fun concepts. "The children may even educate their parents," she said.
Other activities include a ‘brain chatterbox' in which children create an origami chatterbox. The outside squares will have neuroscience questions and the inside squares will have the answers and provide further material for discussion.
In the ‘memory game', children will look at up to 20 objects on a tray for one minute and then be given five minutes to write down as many as they can recall. The facilitator will discuss techniques to help improve short-term memory and the game will be repeated.
In ‘optical illusions', children will see in a powerful way how their brain processes information.
There will also be a comparative brain display - a collection of real brains from a range of species such as a sheep, hamster, rat, mouse, fat-tailed dunnart, lizard and goldfish. A dissecting microscope and light source will enable discussion of simple evolutionary and ecological contexts.
Brain Awareness Week, from March 14 - 20, is a global campaign to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. Every March Brain Awareness Week unites the efforts of universities, hospitals, patient groups, government agencies, schools, service organisations, and professional associations worldwide in a week-long celebration of the brain.
The activities will be held at Scitech from 10am to 2pm on Sunday 20 March.