Bowdoin Students Have Science on the Brain in the Nation's Capital

Story posted October 27, 2010

Five neuroscience students were in Washington, D.C., over the weekend to take part in the USA Science & Engineering Festival, organized by Larry Bock '81.

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"We loved the fun atmosphere and the great excitement expressed by all the participants," says Associate Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Hadley Horch.

"We were doing a particular demonstration that 'tricked' a person’s brain into not quite knowing where their arm and hand were in space, and it was really fun to see the look of shock and surprise on everyone’s faces, whether eight or 80. Some children lined up four or five times to repeat the experience."

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“I thought that the coolest part of the event was that because our booth was geared toward smaller kids, it had a much broader appeal,” says Anirudh Sreekrishnan ’12. "We had parents who were just as amazed as the kids and had lots of fun playing with some of our activities."

"What was really amazing about this festival was to see how many different people we were able to reach in one day," says Anna Ausubel '10.

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The view of the Capitol from the neuroscience students' booth.

"We talked to hundreds of people ranging from ages four to 85, each of whom had a very different science background. Some of the people that we interacted with had never heard of a neuron, and so we were able to teach them on a very basic level how their body perceives the world around them, whereas others were neuroscientists who could discuss their research with us and give us advice on how to proceed with ours. Plus, as someone who hopes to be a high school biology teacher next year, it was a really cool experience to be around so many people who were dedicated to teaching science."


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