A mind-blowing experience for middle school visitors
This fall, 80 visiting eighth-graders from Kanapaha Middle School received a special tour of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida.
The tour kicked off with Tetsuo Ashizawa, M.D., the institute’s executive director, sharing his thoughts on why the brain is so cool. The students then filed into another room, where graduate students from the local chapter of the Society for Neuroscience passed around small, interactive experiments — including tasting jellybeans and learning about how the brain’s sense of taste works. But the highlight of the visit — following of the lab tours and research presentations— was the moment students crowded around a real, human brain.
The students’ teacher, Robyn Freeman, said she initially booked the tour in hopes that she would be able to get the students interested in a new area of science. “We loved it,” Freeman said. “We’re going to try to make it a yearly thing.”