Category: Campus & Community, Community Health, Health Magazine

Title:MCGSO members volunteer virtually for Brain Awareness Week

Author: By Camille Scarborough and Kat Zambon
Date Published: June 1, 2022

Each spring, members of the Medical Center Graduate Student Organization (MCGSO) share their passion for science with students from Hardy Middle School in Washington, D.C., during Brain Awareness Week.

Traditionally held in person, the event moved online in 2021 and 2022. MCGSO volunteers led demonstrations and experiments for the middle schoolers at six virtual science stations, including a Skittles Taste Test, Build a Neuron, Protect Your Egg, and Now You See It. Bags of supplies needed for the experiments were available for the students to pick up ahead of time.

“I led the ‘Now You See It’ memory station this year,” says Marissa Laws (G’23). “I was surprised by how much engagement there was. The kids always ask interesting questions. It’s a lot of fun!”

Last year, Amanda Schneeweis (G’22) talked with students about her career path from biomedical engineering to research on Alzheimer’s disease. She believes it’s important for students to learn about science from real scientists.

“Unless young kids have family members who are scientists, it’s rare that they would ever interact with scientists,” Schneeweis says. “Successful science will only come from a diverse pool of scientists. If only kids who happened to have a family member in science pursue a career in science, scientists will stay a homogeneous group.”

The Society for Neuroscience came up with the idea for Brain Awareness Week, which began in 1992 with a mission to encourage public support and excitement for brain science. In planning for the events, the MCGSO volunteers work closely with the Hardy science teachers to make it engaging and novel for the kids.

Photo: iStock

grphic with a kid and grandma, houses and u street sign

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that health is local—and extremely personal. As the pandemic soared across the country, so raged nationwide debates on mask requirements, vaccine mandates, and…

Roberta Waite

On July 1, Dr. Roberta Waite will begin service as dean of the newly reconceptualized and standalone Georgetown University School of Nursing—one that continues a nearly 120-year history of nursing…

Mutsa Nyakabau

“With fewer resources you have to be creative as the provider in how you’re able to advocate and facilitate care for your…