Bristol Neuroscience Fair
We kicked off the start of March by celebrating and attending the 20th anniversary of the Bristol Neuroscience Festival, organised and led by staff and students at the University of Bristol.
Year 10s and 11s from Ashton Park School and Bedminster Down School joined us in putting on our thinking caps (literally) to learn all about the brain!
Hosted in the iconic Wills Memorial Building, the hall was dotted with a variety of stalls, covering different studies, experiments and activities about the brain. Students were able to observe the brains of a range of animals and heard about why they come in different shapes and sizes. Learners also got to look at a mock-up of a T-Rex brain and how researchers have been able to reproduce what this may have looked like, based off the shape and size of a T-Rex skull.
Students were put through their paces and competed with each other through the various video games. The purpose of one game was to test the reaction speeds of our brains, by having to tap the correct symbol quickly, we witnessed some speedy students from Ashton Park School make their way high up the leader board, nearly beating the professor’s score!
Inquisitive students asked questions to researchers and clinicians leading the stalls and found out all about some of the fascinating studies being conducted at the University of Bristol and the equipment they use for these. We learnt about brain-mapping, where a 3D model of the brain is produced on a screen after a scan to help identify which parts of the brain are impacted by epilepsy, so that these parts can be surgically removed in order to reduce symptoms and sometimes cure the condition altogether. We also got to knit our own neurons; these are the chemicals which carry information between brain cells.
Overall, students found the day both fun and informative. A huge thank you to the staff, students and organisations who came together with the University of Bristol to produce a brilliant event that sparked brainwaves for us all.