Schools Open Day 2023

Schools Open Day 2023

schoool pupils watching a demonstration of transcranial magnetic stimulation

On the 21st of March, the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit welcomed pupils and teachers from local state-funded schools to its annual Schools Open Day.

During the visit, the pupils took the opportunity to learn more about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and medical research from Unit staff and students. The visit started with a group introductory session, where pupils viewed the “The Symphony of the Brain” video showcasing the work conducted in the Unit, followed by a discussion on the use of animals in research. After that, the pupils rotated in small groups through different hands-on activities led by Unit members, highlighting the Unit’s core research themes. These activities included a lab-based microscopy session exploring the study of Parkinson's in rodents, a demonstration of human brain stimulation, and a computer game simulating patterns of brain activity. The pupils also saw a live demonstration of a brain-computer interface speller which read brain signals to type words. The visit ended with a wrap-up session and feedback capture. 

Overall, the event was a success, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from both students and teachers. 

Chloe Crozier-Behan, Head of Chemistry at The Swan School, commented “I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your team for the visit yesterday! Our students (and our staff) had such a fantastic time and learned so much! It was especially brilliant for our non-biologists to see the range of disciplines all working together!”. 

Mandy Hoosein, Careers Co-Ordinator at the Oxford Spires Academy, commented "Absolutely amazing day from start to finish. Very well looked after".

Liz Hounsell, Sixth Form Pastoral Assistant at the Gosford Hill School, commented “It is really useful for students to gain understanding of where staff have come from, especially PhD students, and what degree they did, and to understand that a subject such as neuroscience has a cross-section of different disciplines within it”.