As human beings, we all have something incredible and intricate in common: the possession of a complex, powerful brain. Happy National Brain Awareness Week everyone! The neurosciencefocused week was introduced a few weekends ago on March 2 with the campus event Brain Day, open to the Holland community. For the third consecutive year, families were invited to come participate in the fun.
“Every year we’ve been amazed at how many kids and their families participate — this year we had over 230 kids come to Brain Day! Every year we make little tweaks and adjustments to help the day run more smoothly and to enrich the kids’ experiences, which means that Brain Day improves, every year” said Tristan Tobias (’19), who played a big part in organizing the event. The morning featured a handful of entertaining activities related to the brain. Each kid was presented the opportunity to color, make crafts, test their reflexes, trick their senses, hold a real brain and control a robotic arm with their minds. Touching a human brain and playing with inversion goggles were popular activities amongst all the children, but the arm received the most attention. “Getting to control a robot arm with electrical signals from their own arm muscles is always a crowd favorite,” said Tobias.
Some participants in the activities were awarded prizes that were either Hope-related or neuroscience-themed. Accompanied by other Hope students and professors, Tobias visited classrooms at elementary and middle schools remarking that “it was fun to listen to the students’ perceptions of the brain and get to expand upon their previous knowledge.” The group additionally stopped by after-school programs including CASA, Step-Up and Upward Bound.