Zainy Brainy Kids

By: Danielle Banks
By: Danielle Banks

The sounds of, "Gross!" and, "Cool!" were heard throughout the halls of Bridgewater College. That's where close to a hundred 5th graders from South River Elementary got their first chance to have hands on interaction with brains including those from an actual human. Eleven-year-old Antwinnette Fomby says, "It really doesn't bother me because I actually touched it for the first time and they say it's in my brain. It's really kind of weird."

Weird of not. The opportunity these kids had is priceless. Getting to pick the brains of psychology students and of Dr. Brian Kelley, who's done extensive research on the effects of drugs on young minds. Dr. Kelley says, "They have the brains in their hands. The questions are right there. What happens to this part of your brain and you can be there and say 'Well, these drugs do these things. They damage your nerves and your ability to think and move.' It ends up being a positive experience."

And making a lasting impression. Eleven-year-old Roger Offenbacker says, "Because you get to touch brains and look inside sheep eyeballs." And Savannah Simmons says, "It's weird. It looks like a piece of roast beef."

But kids don't just learn about drugs and the brain. They also find out about a lot of other things going on upstairs. For instance: In terms of intelligence, it's not the size of the brain that matters. It's the amount of wrinkles. Just a little food for thought! But all joking aside, Dr. Kelley and his college students want to make an impact. He says, "Hopefully they'll stop and think just for a minute or two about drugs and about why they shouldn't use them and hopefully a lot of kids won't."

This is the second year South River Elementary has experienced Neuroscience Day at Bridgewater College.

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