Brain Awareness Week concluded on Sunday, March 22 with a great event called Brain Blast, which gave the general public the opportunity to walk through various fun and interactive stations to learn about their brain.

A boy pokes a model of a brain

Children attending Brain Blast learned about various brain disorders, and how to protect their brains.

They had the chance to try out a model MRI machine, mock neuroscience lab and test their knowledge at the end with a game of Brain Jeopardy. Individuals also learned about various brain disorders, and how to protect their brains.

University of Saskatchewan Health Science student volunteers staffed the brain walk stations, stamping public passports as they visited each of the fun and interactive stations on the brain walk. It was a great free event with tangible takeaways for all ages, including activity books for the little ones and information for the adults on various brain-related topics.

Brain Blast is an annual event organized by the Sask. Central Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Team, in partnership with the Saskatoon Health Region, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Neuroscience Network, and SGI. This event was part of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

Brain Day

Volunteers work with kids.

University of Saskatchewan science students volunteered the brain walk stations.

Throughout Brain Awareness Week University students with Neuroscience related backgrounds visited schools for Brain Day. Brain Day is a free informative and fun half-day neuroscience presentation for students in Grades 4 to 6 put on by Parachute Canada, the Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Team and Saskatchewan Neuroscience Network.

Students learned about different parts of the brain, basic neuroscience vocabulary, and how and why it’s important to protect their brain and spinal cord. Information was presented in a hands-on format, which included activity booklets, helmet fitting tips and Jell-O brains. It provided students with a new awareness of the brain and spinal cord and simple strategies to prevent injury.

Children participate in a science experiment.

Brain Walk offered attendees a wide variety of interactive displays.

What is Brain Bee?

The team didn’t want to leave out high school students, so this May 9, there will be a Brain Bee. The Saskatchewan Brain Bee is a spelling bee-styled neuroscience competition for high school students (Grades 9-12) that tests knowledge of the brain and nervous system. The winner of each local bee will be invited to attend the National Brain Bee competition at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. The first, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes and the top winner will have a free round trip to the national Brain Bee competition.

The Saskatchewan Brain Bee will be held on Saturday May 9th, 2015, in Room A204 (A-wing) Health Sciences Building, 107 Wiggins Rd., Saskatoon. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. followed by lunch and the Brain Bee competition.

High school students can register at https://sask-brainbee.eventbrite.com or by contacting the local Brain Bee coordinator, Katherina Lebedeva via email: saskatchewan@brainbee.ca.

More information about the Brain Bee in Canada and how to prepare for the competition: http://brainbee.ca/ or at https://sask-brainbee.eventbrite.com.