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National Museum of Health and Medicine hosts Brain Awareness Week 2008

March 4, 2008, Washington, D.C. The National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (NMHM) will host its ninth annual Brain Awareness Week this March 10-14, 2008, sponsored by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Over 800 middle-school students from across the Washington, D.C. region will participate in hands-on activities designed to inspire a new generation of scientists interested in the brain and the field of neuroscience.

National Brain Awareness Week programs were first established by the Dana Alliance in 1996, linking scientists, clinicians, journalists, and other educators in an annual effort to raise public awareness about the brain and brain science. In 2000, Dana joined forces with NMHM to develop a program designed especially for middle school students. Brain Awareness Week has helped instill a sense of excitement of science, while bringing awareness and understanding of current research and its translation into clinical practice to young audiences.

"This wonderful program provides students a rare opportunity to meet closely with scientists in this uniquely relevant setting," said Adrianne Noe, Ph.D., the Museum's director. "We are thrilled to partner with educators, researchers and clinicians in exploring the myriad of ways that science-related education may be offered to students, especially in an environment that excites and inspires young people to pursue a scientific discipline as a future career."

"As part of our mission to help inspire the next generation of neuroscientists, members of the Society for Neuroscience participate in Brain Awareness Week activities around the country and around the world," said SfN President Eve Marder, PhD. "I'm delighted to be joining students in Washington, DC, and hope that they will get a glimpse of the excitement and potential impact that comes with a career in science."

Brain Awareness Week activities will take place at the Museum over the course of five days. Students will have the opportunity to hear from a leading researcher or clinician during a brief introductory plenary lecture then will rotate through six activity stations to learn about different brain functions, influences on the brain, and brain disorders. Examples of activities include: performing surgery on a Jell-O brain to remove "pathology"; learning how sports-related concussions contribute to tactile, speech and language disorders; discovering the connections between mind and body through therapeutic dance movements; and seeing the amazing "Drunken Brain," a multi-sensory exhibit that immerses the visitor in a unique experience.

Brain Awareness Week 2008 Partners:

  • Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Department of Neuropathology and Ophthalmic Pathology

  • Bob Woodruff Family Fund

  • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

  • Georgetown University

  • George Washington University Center for Education and Human Services in Acquired Brain Injury

  • Howard University

  • National Institute on Aging

  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • National Institute of Mental Health

  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

  • National Rehabilitation and Rediscovery Foundation, Inc.

  • National Sleep Foundation

  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

  • Society for Neuroscience

  • Walter Reed Army Medical Centers Army Audiology and Speech Center

  • Thomas G. West, author of "In the Mind's Eye" and "Thinking Like Einstein"


Contact: Tim Clarke, Jr.
National Museum of Health and Medicine

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