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A group of amazing volunteers from the Department of Pharmacology ran a workshop this week for Year 5 children (10 years old) in New Marston Primary School  around the theme of "How does our brain work?". The majority were MSc students led by Barbara (MSc Course Director) with Arup Nath (DPhil student in the Minichiello group) and Dr Laurence Silpa (Postdoctoral researcher in the Russell group).

Over fifty exceptionally well-behaved children participated in the workshop which involved rotating around six activity booths. Hands-on activities were organised to convey main messages such as: 'the brain performs different functions', 'neurons are the building blocks of the brain', and 'learning involves our brain adapting to new situations'. Also children navigated inside virtual brains using VR headsets and experienced BMI using MindFlex (a device reading EEG activities to make a small ball levitate in the air).

The school was impressed by the organization and enthusiasm of the volunteers. The children were fully engaged and enjoyed the activities, while demonstrating understanding the key messages. 

The headteacher, Mrs Tracey Smith commented: “it really was a fantastic experience for the children and please thank your students again for giving up their time. We will certainly be looking forward to having you back again and exploring any further links you have!"

In sum, it was a great success and a highly rewarding day! 

If you would like to participate in public engagement activities or you have ideas of your own to represent the Department of Pharmacology, contact Barbara Zonta. 

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