MiNDS Students Get Out of Our MiNDS! 

AUTHOR: Lisa Dyce

As we kick off another semester with the Out of Our MiNDS Neuroscience Outreach Program, we’d like to thank all of our hard-working and dedicated volunteers for helping make last semester such a success! It was wonderful to see old and new faces alike come together to bring hands-on neuroscience activities to high schools in the Hamilton area. Since September of 2017, the Out of Our MiNDS team has presented to over 120 biology and health science students at 5 high schools, putting us on track for reaching our goal of visiting double the students we visited last year. Not only have we been invited back to every school visited thus far, but the word of our successful program has spread to new teachers and schools throughout both the Hamilton and Niagara school boards, providing us with opportunities to bring neuroscience to even more classrooms in the semesters ahead! 

This semester, we also plan on enhancing the hands-on experience we provide to the students by incorporating new Neuroscience-focused kits into our workshops from a company called Backyard Brains. Backyard Brains was founded by graduate students from the University of Michigan who, like the MiNDS graduate students volunteering with us, wanted to share Neuroscience with high school students. With the help of one of our dedicated team members, Out of Our MiNDS has been the fortunate recipient of a grant from the Southern Ontario Neuroscience Association (SONA), funding which will help expand our workshop base and greatly enhance our lessons. 


Not only will we be able to update some of our electrophysiology equipment, but we will also be able to include new exercises such as the Human-Human Interface which allows students to experience the concept of neuronal communication firsthand by controlling the movement of a peer’s arm through the movement of their own arm. These demos will provide exciting, hands-on opportunities for students to learn more about Neuroscience, furthering their understanding and inspiring them to ask questions and learn more about the nervous system outside of the classroom. 

We’d also like to expand our workshop base through the development of new models and demos that highlight the strengths of our greatest asset: the MiNDS student body! If you have a new and exciting idea for a workshop that you’d like to see implemented or if you’d like to share more about your own research with high school students during an Out of Our MiNDS visit, please contact John and Lisa at outofourmindsoutreach@gmail.com.  

 

Thank you again to all those who made last semester such a success! Please stay tuned for more information about upcoming Out of Our MiNDS visits – we hope to see everyone out again, soon!