Through exciting hands-on activities and engaging scientific experiments, some involving a real human brain, approximately 730 seventh graders will learn about the importance of brain health at the second annual Brain Fair, hosted by Azusa Pacific University. The event expands this year to include all three Azusa Unified School District (AUSD) middle schools.

Mon., March 18, 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Slauson Middle School
340 W. Fifth St.

Tues., March 19, 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Center Middle School
5500 N. Cerritos Ave.

Wed., March 20, 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Foothill Middle School
151 N. Fenimore Ave.

Seventh grade students will learn about the dangerous effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and how healthy lifestyles improve mental functioning through five exhibits:

  • Anatomy of the Brain: Students view actual mice, sheep, and human brains. A “brain in a bag” simulates the weight and consistency of a human brain.
  • What Is a Neuron? Students learn how neurons communicate via electrical signals to makes muscles contract. They see and hear the electrical signals of neurons in a live cockroach leg.
  • Your Brain and the Senses: Three experiments demonstrate how the brain perceives the world through the five senses (sometimes sensing things that are not there).
  • The Brain on Drugs: Fatal vision goggles simulate the effects of alcohol and drugs on the brain’s use of sight, motor ability, and reaction time.
  • Take Care of Your Brain: “Mr. Egg Head,” an egg drop, and a shaken egg in a Tupperware container show the importance of helmet safety, how the brain is built to withstand injury, and the impact of healthy diet and exercise on brain function. Real MRI films of normal brain anatomy and those with brain injuries, including concussions, are on display.

Skyla Herod, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, organized the event and recruited 31 APU senior neurobiology students to design and implement the service-learning activities.

Brain Awareness Week (BAW), which runs March 11–17, 2013, is an international initiative observed by more than 82 countries since 1996 that raises public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. APU partners with the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to celebrate BAW under the theme of Mental Health with three campus lectures featuring leaders in mental health. An on-campus Brain Awareness Fair will take place on East Campus, Mon., March 11, and Wed., March 13, and on West Campus, Tues., March 12, Thurs., March 14, and Fri, March 15.

To learn more about APU’s involvement with BAW, contact Skyla Herod at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 6619 or sherod@apu.edu.