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Brain Box Challenge helps over 1,000 primary pupils to get to grips with their brains

Brain Box

Brain Box

Brain Box

Press release issued: 13 December 2013

Over 1,000 Primary school children across the West Country now have their heads around brain science thanks to a novel outreach programme led by academics at the University of Bristol.

The Brain Box Challenge is a hands-on practical workshop. It educates pupils in Years 4 to 6 about what their brain looks like, how scientists study it, how it differs from animals and how it controls our behaviour.

The sessions include practical demonstrations, craftwork, games, puzzles and the opportunity for pupils to carry out experiments.

Dr Turk and post graduate students from the School of Experimental Psychology recently visited Banwell Primary School in North Somerset, raising the total number of pupils who have taken part in this initiative to over 1,000.

Dr Turk said: “Pupils really enjoy the Brain Box Challenge. It gives them an insight into how our bodies work at an early age and we hope that it plants the seed of interest in science as they grow up and continue to learn.”

“It’s very important that young children have access to science and scientists during their primary education and it’s always rewarding to see their enthusiasm. It’s also vital that we foster relationships with schools so that University research and resources can benefit as many people as possible.  We very much look forward to seeing the next 1000 children.”

Dr Dave Turk has been running the programme since October 2012, which has included a session as far away as Vancouver. In September this year his department received the STEM University Department of the Year award for Bristol, Bath and Somerset from STEMNet.

It’s all part of the University of Bristol’s wider public engagement efforts, which regularly see staff and students sharing their work with the public to benefit the wider city and society, while encouraging pupils of all ages to interact with research and teaching.

More information about the Brain Box Challenge can be found on their website.