NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS NEWSLETTER - Volume 18, Issue 4 (April, 2014)

Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

In this issue:

1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Brain Awareness Week
4. Brain Awareness Week Video Contest
5 Bloomin' Brains Summer Camp
6. Summer Workshop for Teachers
7. Engineering Discovery Days
8. Media Alert
9. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
10. Support Neuroscience for Kids
11. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in March including:

A. March Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. 2014 University of Washington Brain Awareness Week Open House
C. May and June 2014 Neurocalendars
D. Concussions in Female Middle School Soccer Players

In March, 6 new figures were added and 25 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for April is "Bluebrain" at:

Bluebrain is an independent documentary film about the ongoing, global effort to understand the human brain. Filmmaker Noah Hutton's 10 year plan is to release one film each year. Currently, there are four short films available on the web site and a fifth short film will be released in 2014; a full length feature length film should be completed by 2024. Over the years, Hutton will document new discoveries and questions as progress is made to understand the brain through the Human Brain Project and the BRAIN Initiative.


Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a international effort started by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. Last month, BAW was celebrated around the world with a variety of events including public lectures, open houses and lab visits.

Here at the University of Washington, approximately 650 students in grades 4-12 attended the BAW Open House. Students started the Open House with a multimedia "Brain Assembly" where they learned about neurotransmission, compared the brains of different animals and played with some visual illusions.

Students then visited exhibits set up by University of Washington departments and other organizations. The Neurobiology and Behavior Community Outreach Program had exhibits to test the senses and materials to build neuron models. The DO-IT program, UW Department of Otolaryngology, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, Department of Biology, Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, Hope Heart Institute, Seattle Hydrocephalus Support Group, UW Dept. of Biological Structure, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Pacific Science Center, UW Neurobiology Club, Northwest Association for Biomedical Research, Edmonds-Woodway High School, UW Bloedel Center, and Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience all provided exhibits.

This year the open house was supported by the Pacific Cascade Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

For more information about the open house, see:


Does winning a trip to the 2014 Annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C. sound good to you? If your answer is "Yes," then submit a video to the Science for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Week Video Contest and you may be a winner. Your video must have a neuroscience theme and be no longer than five minutes. The deadline for video entries is June 12, 2014. For complete rules and prizes, see:


Are you a middle school student interested in a summer "deep dive" into neuroscience and botany? Do you know a middle school student who is? If so, then the Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience free summer day camp is for you. This camp is part of my Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The 2014 "Bloomin' Brains" neuroscience summer day camp will be held on the University of Washington campus July 21-24 from 9 am to 3 pm each day, and supervised by teachers, graduate students, undergraduates and UW faculty. Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from campus and for providing sack lunches. The application deadline is April 15. Campers will have the opportunity to:

- Conduct hands-on science experiments

- Learn about traditional uses of medicinal plants in Native cultures

- Explore the structure and function of the brain

- Visit the Burke Museum, UW Botany Greenhouse, and Medicinal Herb Garden

- Listen to real scientists talk about their careers

- Discover "the art of the brain" by constructing models

- Make a plant extract and tie-dye a shirt

- Research neuroscience at the UW computer lab

For more information about the camp and the application form, please visit:

Discover how much fun science can be!


You can call it a summer camp for teachers! Here at the University of Washington, we will hold a workshop for teachers August 4-8, 2014. During the workshop, teachers will work through the Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience curriculum. Teachers who complete the workshop will be able to check out Neuroseeds kits for use in their classrooms during the school year. For more information and workshop registration (deadline is April 15), see:


If you missed the University of Washington Brain Awareness Week Open House, don't worry. There is another opportunity to learn about science and engineering at the University of Washington Engineering Discovery Days.

Engineering Discovery Days is sponsored by the University of Washington College of Engineering and will take place in Seattle on April 25-26, 2014. Students and faculty members from all of the engineering departments will have hands-on exhibits for visitors.

For more information about Engineering Discovery Days, see:


A. "The Second Coming of Sigmund Freud" by Kat McGowan and "Brain-Machine Interface Could Give Voice to the Voiceless" by Gordy Slack in DISCOVER magazine (April, 2014).

B. The "Mozart & the Mind" series (San Diego, CA) pairs neuroscientists with musicians in performances, lectures and exhibitions. See:

C. "The Genetic Geography of the Brain" by Ed Lein and Mike Hawrylycz in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (April, 2014).

D. "The Power of Poison" is an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY.) that is open until August 10, 2014.



A. Nearly $1 billion is spent on brain scans by people with headaches in the US. (Source: NBCNews;

B. Steven Hauschka, the placekicker for the Seattle Seahawks professional football team, received his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Middlebury College in 2007.

C. Neuroscientist and Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini was born on April 22, 1909. She passed away on December 30, 2012.

D. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month and Sports Eye Safety Month.

E. The diameter of the common carotid artery in adults is 6 mm.