Psychology students host Kids Judge Neuroscience Fair
Students in Assistant Professor of Psychology Julia Manor’s “Topics: Brain, Mind and Behavior” course hosted a “Kids Judge Neuroscience Fair” at Ripon College Sunday, Nov. 11.
Manor’s students worked in groups to create projects to engage and educate children in grades 3-5 about an aspect of neuroscience. The grade school students who participated were then asked to judge the projects and, at the conclusion of the event, vote to determine the winning group.
“The kids absolutely love the event,” says Manor. “They get excited about science and seeing all the college students taking the time to teach them. They often say that they thought science was boring but the Kids Judge Neuroscience Fair showed them it could be fun.”
Making children excited about science is the ultimate goal of the event. This year’s projects included “The Maze Runners: Teaching kids about memory,” “Brainaxons: Teaching kids about the way that neurons communicate through action potentials,” “Neurotrans Sisters and Misters: Teaching kids about neurotransmitters and what they do for us,” “Sensory Adventures: Teaching kids about the sensory areas of the brain,” “Muscle Memory: Teaching kids about how our brain learns to do physical activities,” and “Trichromagic: Teaching kids about how our eyes process colors using cones.”
“College students benefit from the project because they learn information about the brain and how to translate that information to an audience of young children,” Manor says. “They have to think about how to engage their audience and what they want to teach them.”
At the end of the day, the children’s votes put “Trichromagic” and “Sensory Adventures” in a tie for first place.
“Trichromagic” included Ripon College students Shelby Winchell ’19 of Janesville, Wisconsin; Kiera Robe ’21 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Mesio Bishop ’21 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Logan Zeinert ’22 of Wittenberg, Wisconsin; Hannah Buback ’22 of Grafton, Wisconsin; and Walter Bryant ’22 of Bakersfield, California. “Sensory Adventures” included Laurissa Johnson ’19 of Little Chute, Wisconsin; Brady Spors ’21 of Greenville, Wisconsin; Kourtney Camm ’22 of Evansville, Wisconsin; Tucker Parrish ’22 of Phoenix, Arizona; Gabriela Castellanos ’20 of Chicago, Illinois; and Brice Swick ’20 of Kimberly, Wisconsin.
“The most rewarding factor in the fair was hearing from the kids,” says Zeinert. “I also heard from a few of the volunteers that they really enjoyed our presentation. Hearing that brings me so much joy and satisfaction over all of the hard work put into the project.”
“It was so much fun to hang out with the kids and to just be around their energy,” says Spors. “There were many laughs, and it was clear to see that it was not just the kids who were having fun.”
Photo: Ripon College sophomore Brady Spors teaches a pair of grade school students about the brain and five senses.
Dakota Marlega ’21