After three outdoor Explorers - Laura and her research in Antarctica, Mike and his raptors in Minnesota, and Jason and his fossils in Texas - we are excited to introduce our first laboratory Explorer: Gretchen the Neuroscientist!
Starting Monday, October 16th, Dr. Gretchen Neigh and her team will discuss the inner-workings of the brain and how it functions and allows us to do the incredible things humans can do. During this two-week series, Dr. Neigh will share daily updates covering a variety of brain-related topics. She'll also post discussion topics for your students and provide a place to ask questions. Our pre-knowledge topic is live right now and ready for your student's participation. When adding a Response, have your students include your school's custom hashtag so Dr. Neigh knows where students are Responding.
October 2nd: Pre-knowledge - What is the most interesting thing about the brain? What's the most confusing thing about the brain?
October 16th: Topic One - Throughout this week we'll discuss the various components of the brain; which part of the brain do you think is most important and why?
October 23rd: Topic Two - What do you believe will be the next big thing for neuroscience? What scientific breakthrough with the brain will change humanity as we know it?
October 27th: Reflection - How do you see brains differently?
This two-week series is tailored to Middle and High school students, though younger learners are free to participate. You and your students can participate however you see fit. Some educators build class content around the series, others participate on a more casual basis.
If you're interested in expanding you're students' involvement with this Explorer Series, check out these awesome resources from Gretchen's experience and field:
About Dr. Neigh:
After earning a B.A. in Biology from Washington and Jefferson College, Gretchen became Dr. Neigh with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University. She then became a FIRST (Fellowship in Research and Science Teaching) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, at Emory University School of Medicine, which led her to where she is today: as a faculty member running her own research group, training junior scientists, and teaching medical and graduate students. Gretchen was featured in Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign saying, "Real Beauty is using what makes you special to make the world more beautiful. I use my scientific abilities to study the brain with the goal of improving mental health." She and her team do this and more at Virginia Commonwealth University in "The Neigh Lab," which specializes in psychoneuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology. Gretchen's research has been published in a number of scientific journals and she herself has spoken at many events. Along with their research, Gretchen and her team cultivate young, aspiring scientists through their outreach and community involvement. We were connected to Gretchen through Lara Ivey, the librarian at Bettie Weaver Elementary School in Chesterfield County School District - thank you Lara!