Following the Oxfordshire Science Festival (a.k.a Oxscifest), the Saturday 25 June 2016, where I talked about the brain at our MRC Harwell booth, I had the pleasure to be invited in a school.
The head teacher of the Unicorn School in Abingdon asked me to talk about neurosciences in his specialist day school for girls and boys aged 6 to 14 years, who have dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia or who need support with speech and language*.
I have asked my colleagues to join me the Wednesday 6 July 2016 and they have accepted to be part of 4 sessions of 1h with the following groups: 18 children aged 12-13 years old, 23 children aged 10-11 years old, 22 children aged 7-10 years old and 7 children aged 14 years old.
I am amazed by the knowledge and curiosity of children. They already knew a lot about the brain, they were really enthusiasts about learning new things and they have asked tons of interesting questions. It was a great pleasure to hear “aaaah” when they have understood a neuroscience concept or “ooooh” when they have discovered a fun fact about neurons.
The last question we asked them was to tell what they have learned. My mission was accomplished with great success as they have replied something. Perhaps, one of the most learned thing was about the cerebellum and its functions (balance, equilibrium, posture and fine movement). Finally we didn’t forget to talk about our research topic, the circadian rhythms.
Thanks to the Head Teacher, Mr Andrew Day, for inviting me to his school. I hope the children have enjoyed discovering the world of neurosciences and the brain as much as I have enjoyed talking to them.
From right to left : Amy, the MRC Harwell science communications officer and the Pat Nolan’s postdoc gang (Petrina, Minghui and me).
*As discribed on the Unicorn school siteweb.