More than 2,000 Kids Attend 3rd Annual Brain Fair at the Miami Science Museum

A record number of school children celebrated Brain Awareness Week with University of Miami scientists at the Brain Fair 2012 on Saturday, March 17, at the Miami Science Museum. The free science event educated more than 2,200 children of all ages about how the brain works with an array of hands-on activities.

Children had the chance to discover if they are supertasters and to watch the dissection of a sheep brain. Other fun and educational activities included building neurons, discovering the differences between dog and cat brains, and learning how visual illusions work. Kids also were entertained with puppet shows, face painting, and more than 400 of them received free bike helmets, courtesy of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida and The Pilot Club of Miami.

“We feel this event is important for both the community and the participating scientists,” said event organizer Coleen Atkins, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurological surgery at the Miller School and Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. “The children and families get to learn about brain and spinal cord function in an interactive and fun setting.”

Featured science talks for older kids and adults included discussions on IQ and Exercise and Building Bionic Humans. High school students had the chance to test their knowledge in the first Miami Brain Bee.

In addition to UM, several local colleges contribute to the Brain Fair by providing volunteers and exhibits. This year, participating institutions included Barry University, St. Thomas University, Nova Southeastern University, and Florida International University, which with UM bring together more than 200 neuroscientists to volunteer at the fair and create the popular, high quality educational event.

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