Brain Fair Makes You Think

Every March, the Dana Foundation- a private, philanthropic organization dedicated to brain research and education celebrates Brain Awareness Week and encourages others to do the same. This year, the event fell between March 16th and 22nd and also happened to be the event’s 20th birthday. In honor of Brain Awareness Week, the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in Neuroscience (CEN), K-12 Outreach Program, and Undergraduate Neuroscience Club helped the Dana Foundation commemorate the event and spread excitement about the brain by hosting the 2nd Annual Brain Fair.

The 2nd Annual Brain Fair was held on Friday, March 27th in the Harold Alfond Forum from 4 to 7 in the evening. The event was open and free to the public, encouraging faculty and staff to bring their children and local school systems to bring their students. Although the 2014 Brain Fair brought in a decent sized crowd and had a variety of activities, this year’s event involved more extensive planning and collaborations among CEN, a variety of majors, and many sports teams.

Activities ranged from making pipe cleaner neurons to balancing tests, softball drills, and soccer playing to sheep brain dissections, human brain models demonstrations, electromyography, to egg and melon drops. One of the major activities that drew in a large crowd was hosted by the Michael T. Goulet Traumatic Brain Injury & Epilepsy Foundation. The foundation works to promote brain safety and education and one way they do so is by providing free helmets to those in the community. UNE is fortunate enough to have a strong and personal connection to the foundation, allowing us to promote their organization while they help the university promote brain safety. Many children in attendance were fitted for a brand new helmet and then hit the ice rink for some free skating with the UNE Men’s and Women’s hockey teams.

The purpose of the Brain Fair was to not only help the Dana Foundation celebrate Brain Awareness Week and the beauty of neuroscience- it was also to promote brain safety and education while providing a fun and interactive atmosphere for students and community members to learn.