Since 2015, Brain Discovery has reached over 1,500 students in the greater St. Louis area, across more than 65 classrooms. We have been featured on St. Louis Public Radio and the “Hold That Thought” podcast, and received the Liberman Graduate Center “Outstanding Breakthrough” award in 2018.
All Brain Discovery students complete pre- and post-assessments that aim to measure attitudes toward science, understanding of the scientific process, and content knowledge. Preliminary findings presented at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in 2019 suggest that participating students show significant increases in all of these dimensions. In addition, students were asked to rate how much they liked the Brain Discovery visits and whether these visits changed how they feel about science. The results were overwhelmingly positive.
But the full impact of Brain Discovery may be most clearly felt reading the feedback we receive from teachers, parents, and of course the students themselves.
“[Brain Discovery] helped a lot of my students see and experience a new world where they may not have envisioned themselves before.” – 5th Grade Teacher
“It gave me a feel for what being a scientist is like.” – 5th Grade Student
“I think it’s helped open their minds to what science can really encompass.” – Parent
“I learned new things that I didn’t even know that scientists could do.” – 6th Grade Student
“This program brought resources to our school that some of my students never would have seen or used. Meeting actual scientists really helped them to understand that this is a possibility for their future.” – 5th Grade Teacher
“[The Brain Discovery scientists] taught me science is fun and the more I learned the more I wanted to learn.” – 4th Grade Student
“It amazed me how well the children remembered specific vocabulary and information from one week to the next without any review or paperwork/ testing. They were extremely engaged and used the terms and ideas in other areas.” – 4th Grade Teacher
“I like science more because it’s so many mysteries you can find out.” – 5th Grade Student
“The opportunity to learn about science from real scientists, using real equipment and specimens, made a huge impression.” – Parent
“One of my goals as a teacher is to expose students to opportunities and access in their communities. Many of my students were not even familiar with WashU before they met [the Brain Discovery scientists]. They were excellent facilitators and the kids have so much more excitement regarding science now.” – 6th Grade Teacher
“I would want to do it all year … it went too fast!” – 4th Grade Student
“I mean people don’t know much about the brain when your [sic] my age and I think my class is the luckiest to have you guys.” – 5th Grade Student