Students And Scientists Trade Places In UPenn Science Fair

By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There was a big display of brain power Friday at the University of Pennsylvania.

The university held a neuro-science fair, where brainiacs got to show off their stuff, and have it was judged by elementary students. It was designed to get younger students interested in science and learn more about the brain.

Young minds were getting hands on lessons about the brain.

“It’s cool, I like it. It’s more stuff we can learn than at school, and when we’re here we can learn a lot of stuff,” said Malaya Smith.

This is Penn’s ‘Switcheroo Science Fair’, where 3rd and 4th graders get to judge science projects designed by Penn students.

“I think we mostly want kids to get excited about science,” said Penn grad student Caroline Keating.

The idea behind this Switcheroo is to make scientists better communicators, and the students better scientists. For hands on experience, the kids got to see and work on real sheep brains, and see just how much the brain does.

“I know it controls our body, like I thought I was doing it on my own,” said Kayla Andrews.

To save a head, the students used Play Dough, to make brain models, wrapped in layers, before smashing them to the ground.

“This is what happens when you fall on your head and you don’t have a helmet,” Makhi Ferguson said demonstrating. “It’s just messed up now that’s why we need helmets.”

“We’re showing kids the difference in their brain, that could possibly happen when they wear a helmet, and when they don’t wear a helmet, during these activities,” said Didja Hilmara.

The winning exhibit was magic berries exploring the sweet and sour science of taste. It’s interesting how well your brain knows the flavor of food.

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