Marshall Brain Expo Introduces Young People to Neuroscience

Updated 9 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - More than 550 elementary school children from around the tri-state region will visit Marshall University's Memorial Student Center on Friday to participate in activities designed to help them learn about the brain and nervous system.

The fifth annual Brain Expo at Marshall will feature 23 interactive stations where children will learn how healthy lifestyle choices lead to better brain health and explore how the various parts of their nervous system are responsible for how their bodies function. They will test their reflexes, play memory games, color their own "brain hats" and build brain cell-shaped key chains.
Nearly 200 Marshall students and faculty from the College of Science, the Psychology Department and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will oversee the activities. The St. Mary's Medical Center will present a station about brain and spinal cord safety.
The event is part of Brain Awareness Week, an annual global effort founded in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The Brain Expo at Marshall was founded by Dr. Nadja Spitzer and Dr. Brian Antonsen, both of whom are neuroscientists and assistant professors in the university's Department of Biological Sciences.
"People are fascinated by the brain and there are many fun hands-on activities, like optical illusions, that show how the nervous system works," said Spitzer, who serves as the program's director. "Our goal is to interest children in science and research at a young age by using games and activities that demonstrate the relevance of neuroscience in everyday life. Events like this are an excellent way of increasing public awareness of neuroscience and in recruiting future students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs."
Spitzer said registration for this year's event is full, but anyone interested in next year's program can e-mail
For more information about the Brain Expo and Marshall's Brain Awareness Program, visit
Friday's program is supported by the National Science Foundation (Cooperative Agreement Award number EPS-1003907) and Marshall's College of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Cell Differentiation and Development Center, and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine's Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program