Earlier this month, neuroscience students and members of Nu Rho Psi, the neuroscience honor society at Belmont, traveled to Henry Maxwell Elementary in Antioch. While there, the group, which included Crystal Lemus, Aditi Buch, Chloe Garbe, Heena Ismaili, Jennifer King, Damaris Guevara, Benya Paueksakon and Devanie Combs, led a neuroscience-based presentation on the five senses to 3rd and 4th grade classes totaling a little over 300 students.
The 45-minute presentation focused on the brain mechanisms that underlie the five senses and included fun, interactive demonstrations for students. Hands-on activities included shaking a small brain in an empty bottle filled with water to stress the importance of cerebrospinal fluid in brain injury prevention and tasting candy while pinching the nose to stress the importance of smell and its role in flavor detection, among many others. The presentation wrapped up with students putting on rubber gloves and touching an actual sheep brain.
Students were entertained and left interested in neuroscience. Some even stated that the neuroscience presentation inspired them to learn more about the field and that they would love to study it further once in college. “It is always fun to see the student’s reactions when they find out that they will get to not only see a real brain, but touch one as well,” said Lemus, Nu Rho Psi’s president. “We started with one presentation last year and fell in love with the huge impact it made in the young minds of others. This year we are hoping to reach out to one elementary school, in the local Nashville area, per month.”
Nu Rho Psi, aside from planning events for National Brain Awareness Week, hosting journal clubs and having fundraisers, is focusing on community outreach and giving back to the local community. While only their second year on campus, the student organization has held events for National Brain Awareness Week, presented to over 300 students and is working towards national recognition.