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Scouts don lab coats for neuroscience evening!

8 November 2017

Prism Goggles edited

From inflatable brain domes to neuron modelling and laboratory tours, a team of budding young scientists enjoyed the full works at this Autumn’s Scouts Night.

Having chosen a suitably sized lab coat, a dozen children from the 49th Cardiff (1st Rumney) Scout Group joined neuroscience researchers at Cardiff University’s Hadyn Ellis Building on Friday 3 November for a night of brain-related fun.


Hosted by the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI), the event saw scouts putting their skills to the test as they engaged in challenges including everything from Giant Brain Jenga to Stroop Racing. The latter game requires participants to read aloud a series of words – rather than the colour of the words! – which plays tricks with your brain. The scout to verbalise the most correct answers the quickest wins a prize!

Modelling a Neuron
Modelling a Neuron: Scouts learned that the long part of neurons is called 'Axon'

A highlight for many of the children (other than the solid chocolate brains!) was getting to see real brains in the neuroscience laboratories.

Our Splodge on the Brain art project, developed by the Brain Repair and Intracranial Neurotherapeutics (BRAIN Unit), also helped scouts to identify the different brain lobes and understand which areas control the various parts of a person’s body and behaviour.

Edible brains!

Lab Tour
STEM Ambassador Craig Joyce delivers a laboratory tour at Scouts Night

Scout Leader, Catherine MacArthur, said: “Our young people really enjoyed learning lots of new information in a fun and friendly setting at the neuroscience evening – they particularly enjoyed bouncing in the giant brain and eating chocolate brains!

“What a wonderful, relaxed way of discovering an insight into the amazing research being carried out at Cardiff University’s NMHRI.”

We would like to give a special thanks to GE, Eppendorf, ThermoFisher Scientific, Promega, VWR, Dutscher Scientific, Office Depot, SLS, Sartorius and Starlab who kindly provided essentials such as lab coats and gloves – and of course all our tasty treats!

The biggest ‘thank you’ must go to our fantastic team of STEM Ambassador volunteers, who keenly gave up their Friday night to deliver these activities so wonderfully and educate the next generation of neuroscientists!

Splodge Scouts
Researcher Francesca Mazzaschi uses art to explain the functions of different brain areas

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