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18 March 2013
The University welcomed more than 2600 children and their families to the Brain Games event held at the National Museum Cardiff (17 March).
Created by neuroscientists at Cardiff University and funded by the Wellcome Trust, Brain Games featured a series of interactive challenges aimed at children aged 8-11 to find out more about how their brain works.
The event was held as part of Brain Awareness Week, which aims to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Children were given the chance to collect points and win prizes with educational and fun challenges like tricking your brain into believing that a rubber hand feels as real as your own; seeing how well you can shoot when your world is turned upside down and using brain waves to make a ball float. There was also a special talk delivered throughout the day by Professor John Aggleton, School of Psychology on "What Dinosaur’s Brains Were Like".
Professor Derek Jones from the School of Psychology and chief organiser of the event said: "I am absolutely delighted at how the event has gone. It's been incredible to see how many people from the University wanted to spend their Sunday engaging with the public (we have around 65 bright-yellow t-shirts on the Brain Games floor and a dozen or so behind the scenes). Importantly, we've all been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of kids turning up today, and the reaction of both the kids and their parents. To see that light-bulb switch on when they learn something new about the brain makes the months of preparation all worthwhile!"
Brain Games is part of a sustainable project, organised by Cardiff University neuroscience researchers with engagement and outreach taking place in local communities and schools. Brain assemblies have been run for Key Stage 2 children in various south Wales schools and a teacher training programme to exchange information about the Brain Games to discuss what worked well and what children gained from the event is to begin soon. This aim is for teachers to become ‘Brain Champions’ for their schools and to teach the school pupils more about the brain.
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