Brittany, a sophomore in biology, and Aishwarya, a junior in chemistry, visited Muir High School. They presented to AP Biology students in Ms. Damaze’s class on drugs and the brain. While Aishwarya talked about the effects of nicotine and cocaine on neuronal synapses, Brittany explained the effect of different hallucinogens on different brain structures. Following their exciting presentation, students where able to interact with different drug mechanisms using Mouse Party. They were also able to view a sheep brain dissection performed by the Caltech students. The students were very excited and asked lots of questions!
Interaxon hosted its first annual Pasadena Regional Brain Bee on Saturday, February 6th. The day began with presentation booths where students were able to learn more about neuroscience from booths such as a sheep brain dissection, a Backyard Brains’ SpikerBox experiment, and a booth on the five senses. The day also included a faculty presentation by Professor Michael Dickinson.
The competition was the regional level of the Society for Neuroscience’s National Brain Bee. The students took a written exam and participated in a jeopardy style competition, judged by Professor Henry Lester, to determine the winner. Congrats to Blair High School 9th grader, Aarti Goswami, for winning 1st place. Aarti will be traveling to Baltimore in March to attend the National Brain Bee. We wish her the best of luck!
Some selected photos from the day are shown below.
Professor Lester teaches students about his research.
Stephanie shows how to create an artificial reflex arc using the Backyard Brains SpikerBox experiment.
Aishwarya explains the differences between a sheep’s brain and a human brain.
Finalists line up for the awards ceremony with officers Charles, Gauri, and Anvita.
Jessica teaches the participants about how the different senses help create optical illusions.
Namita points out the different structures of the sheep brain.
On November 12th, Namita, Stephanie, and Brittany went to the McKinley school and performed a sheep brain dissection. The following week on November 19th, Aishwarya and Sarah went to a 7th grade classroom in the Sierra Madre middle school and performed a sheep brain dissection as well.
On Tuesday, December 8th, Interaxon visited 7th graders at McKinley School. Olivia presented about neurolinguistics, giving an overview of neural basis for processing language in the brain and providing some examples of how these pathways can be disrupted in aphasias. The students especially enjoyed learning about the McGurk effect, a perceptual illusion in which your perception of an auditory signal is altered by a change in the visual stimulus.
On Friday December 4th, Interaxon hosted a table at Webster Elementary’s Stargazing Night. Charles and Kavi showcased some sheep brains and answered questions while the students poked and prodded the brains.
On Friday November 6, Anvita and Charles were invited to a Reverse Science Fair at St Philip the Apostle School! They showed the 6th graders some cool optical illusions and explained how and why the brain makes us see things that aren’t actually there. The kids loved it and we had lots of fun!
Caltech Interaxon students made a candy display of neurons to talk to freshman about what Interaxon does!
Interaxon celebrated the successful year with what they loved most about the club!
Interaxon visited Mr. Gray’s 7th grade life science class this morning to present about the effect drugs have on different pathways in the brain! Anvita, Namita, Sarah, and Aishwarya talked about the chemicals in these drugs and whether they acted as antagonists or agonists for different neurotransmitters and what their side effects were.
On Thursday, May 8, Interaxon visited Mr. Antonian’s 7th grade class at Sierra Madre Middle School. Christine, Sheila, and Grace gave a presentation on how our central nervous system perceives information we take in through our senses. Sheila conducted a taste/smell demo with skittles and a touch demo with bobby pins. Christine detailed the functions of the eye and explained why we perceive optical illusions the way we do. Later that day, Tracey and Jackie also gave a similar presentation, explaining how our brain relates to our five senses.