CONTACT: JENNIFER BROWN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9917; fax(319) 384-4638
Release: March 7, 2002
Public invited to visit the Iowa Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair
Children and adults are invited to explore the inner workings of the brain
at the Iowa Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair on Saturday, March 9, at the Iowa
City Moose Lodge, 3151 Highway 6 East, Iowa City. The fair is free and open
to the public from 10 a.m. until
Students, faculty and staff from the University of Iowa Neuroscience Graduate
Program, in collaboration with the National Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fairs
Partnership, organized the fair, which is part of Brain Awareness Week 2002.
The fair features hands-on exhibits designed to illustrate how the brain
performs its many complex cognitive tasks. Approximately 65 scientists from
throughout the UI neuroscience community have created 26 demonstrations to
help explain fundamental concepts about the brain, including memory, vision,
hearing, touch, pain, movement, brain injury and development.
On Friday, March 8, nearly 200 area fourth- and fifth-grade students will
preview the fair to evaluate the scientists and their presentations. For these
students, the event will be structured like a traditional science fair, but
this time the children get to judge and select the winning exhibits. The students
attend three eastern Iowa schools: Jefferson-Edison Elementary School in Davenport;
Neil Armstrong Elementary School in Bettendorf; and Roundy Elementary School
in Columbus Junction.
The Iowa Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair is part of a nationwide project in
which neuroscientists are creating innovative ways to help children learn
about how the brain works. The National Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fairs Partnership
provides funding for the fair through a grant from the National Institute
on Drug Abuse, one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health.
Deborah Colbern, Ph.D., is director of the National Kids Judge! Partnership
and President of BEEMNET (www.beemnet.com),
Brain Exchange Electronic Mentorship Network, a company she founded to connect
practicing neuroscientists with children to promote education about the brain
and neuroscience research.
Colbern notes that the fair provides a good learning experience for both
children and scientists. "The children learn about the brain, and their
honest and direct evaluation of the presentations helps scientists hone their
communication skills and their ability to produce exciting teaching activities,"
For the second year in a row, the Iowa Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair has
been selected as a model demonstration site for the Brain Awareness Week Partners
in Education program. This partnership, which works with universities and
academic research centers throughout the world, aims to advance public understanding
about the brain and brain research by linking scientists directly with students.
The partnership includes national and international organizations such as
the American Academy of Neurology Education and Research Foundation, the Association
of University Professors of Neurology, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives,
the European Dana Alliance for the Brain, the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Society for Neuroscience.
UI colleges, departments and programs represented at the fair include: the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Medicine, and the Graduate
College; the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biology, Internal Medicine,
Neurology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Psychiatry, and Psychology; and the Physical
Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Graduate Program, the Neuroscience Graduate
Program, the Pain Research Program, the Huntington's Disease Center of Excellence,
and the Mental Health Clinical Research Center.
The Iowa City Moose Lodge is donating the use of its facilities for the
fair. Other local area businesses and organizations that have contributed
to the event by donating goods or providing discounts on services include
Chef Mickey's Catering, CK Studios, Copyworks, EMPI, Hy-Vee, Merle Norman
Cosmetics, Monkey House, Office Depot, Old Capitol Screen Printers, Panera
Bread Company of Iowa, Scheels All Sports, and University of Iowa Health Care.
The Brain Awareness Week Partners in Education, Dana Alliance for Brain
Initiatives, and National Institutes on Drug Abuse also have provided educational
materials about the brain, the promise of brain research, and how to keep
your brain healthy and safe.
The Iowa Kids Judge! Fair is one of many activities planned by the UI Neuroscience
Graduate Program in observation of Brain Awareness Week, March 11-17. Brain
Awareness Week was created by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, an
international partnership of government agencies, scientific organizations,
universities, and volunteer groups, which includes over 1,300 partner organizations
in 50 countries.
For more information about the Iowa Kids Judge! Fair, contact Ana Hutton,
graduate student in the UI Neuroscience Graduate Program and chair of Iowa
Kids Judge! at firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 335-7733.
For more information about National Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fairs Partnership,
contact Deborah Colbern at email@example.com or at (319) 337-4058 (Sheraton
Hotel as of March 5) or (310) 776-0877 (cell phone). Colbern's California
office phone number is (310) 574-3742.
For questions about the Iowa City Moose Lodge facilities, contact Christine
Garling, club manager, at (319) 356-6921.
To find out more about neuroscience at the UI, visit www.uiowa.edu/~neuro/,
and for more information about other Brain Awareness Week events around the
country, visit http://www.dana.org/brainweek/.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI
Health Care online at www.uihealthcare.com.