Brain Fair


CONTACT: Shoai Hattori


Free Citywide “Brain Fair” will Provide Hundreds of Chicago Families with Experiences that Bring Neuroscience to Life

Chicago, IL –February 21, 2013 –Have you ever controlled a robot with your muscle signals? Have you ever held a real brain in your hands? In a few weeks, some lucky Chicago families will get a chance to enjoy these activities and more, and in the process learn more about what makes the brain tick.

On Saturday, March 16, nearly 70 Northwestern neuroscience students of the Northwestern University Brain Awareness Outreach (NUBAO) organizationwill volunteer to work hands-on with Chicago families to reveal the secrets of the brain through interactive –and surprising –demonstrations and experiments.

“My son couldn’t get enough of the Brain Fair; I had never seen him so interested in science”,said one thrilled parent attendee of last year’s Brain Fair. “Because everything is hands-on, I feel that he really learned about how the brain works –and now he wants to learn more”.

“This is an opportunity to bring neuroscience experiences to hundreds of children, but also to their parents” says Jessica Wilson, a Northwestern University PhD student and NUBAO co-founder. “By inviting parents to attend with their children, we hope to spark science learning and conversations that extend far beyond the event and into the home”.

Now in its third year, the Brain Fair features revealing experiments that don’t just teach, but engage and surprise.

“We share experiments that we feel create astonishment and excitement in parents and kids alike, and embed learning within an unforgettable experience” says Shoai Hattori, also a Northwestern University PhD student and NUBAO co-founder. “The Brain Fair gives all of us a chance to bring the excitement out of the lab, to talk to people and get them excited about what we do. It’s become a great bonding experience every year for us”.

“The Brain Fair embodies the hands-on, experiential learning approach that not only creates understanding, but provokes curiosity to pursue more learning,” says David Schneeweis, Assistant Director of the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience PhD program and NUBAO faculty advisor. “I’m so proud of our Northwestern students for making this event a reality”.

Families may register on a first-come, first serve basis, beginningon Friday, February 22ndat The Fair will be hosted by The Nettelhorst School, a CPS K-8 school located at 3252 N. Broadway. There will be two sessions: March 16 from 9:00 am –11:30 am, and from 1:30 pm –4:00 pm. Parents MUST accompany children; activities are geared to children K –8th grade .

The Brain Fair is held in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to increase public awareness of the benefits of brain research.

About NUBAO’s Involvement in Brain Awareness WeekBrain Awareness Week is a global initiative run by the Dana Foundation every spring, in which hospitals, schools, universities, libraries, and other institutions run outreach activities to educate and excite the public about the progress and benefits of brain research (info at: NUBAO is a graduate student-led outreach organization dedicated to bringing neuroscience to the public in the Chicagoland area. Since its inception in 2010, the organization has organized workshops, open-houses, and lectures during and outside of Brain Awareness Week. NUBAO’s outreach initiatives are unique due to the strength of the relationships the organization has forged with its partners includingCPS schools. NUBAO is generously supported by a Northwestern University TGS Community Building Grant and the Northwestern University Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program.

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