Neuroscience Education, Making a Difference at Magruder High School in Montgomery County

Saturday, February 13, 2016
Archibald Fobbs Jr., National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, MD
The Magruder Neuroscience Program’s main focus is to introduce the students of Magruder High School to neuroscience using a unique format that requires hands-on participation. The program immerses the students in the various topics of interests presented by neuroscientists from local institutions. Six exhibits are presented each day of the program. The topics presented at this year’s program were The Drunken Brain, Idea Mapping, Prosthetics, Cognition, Brain Function, and Origami. 120 students attended the program each day. Exhibits covered synaptic transmission, the evolution of prosthetics design, traumatic brain injuries effects on the brain, and use of complex geometric shapes to understand brain topography and memory enhancement. These students were from the Advanced Placement Psychology classes and the Anatomy and Physiology Classes at Magruder High School. The topics discussed by each presenter covered subject matter taught in their respective classes, which supports the curriculum. Students had the opportunity to experience hands-on demonstration of principles learned in the classroom. This method of learning enhanced the students’ educational experience at Magruder, empowered them to take academic command of the subject matter, encouraged critical thinking, and enhanced their appreciation for STEM related academics and STEM related careers. The second component of the Magruder Neuroscience Program is the Parent and Student Symposium. The symposium is designed to address community and social issues related to neuroscience, to aid parents with information to open lines of communication with their children about these issues, and to allow students to make wise and informed decisions when confronted with these issues in the community and amongst their peers.