Science AMA Series: We’re Bill Griesar and Jeff Leake at Portland State University and co-founders of nwnoggin.org We train students in neuroscience and art to collaborate, and use art projects to enthuse and inform K-12 students and the public about how our brains work. Ask us anything!

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How would one get involved with your organization if they wanted to volunteer?

vintagepillars

Thanks for your interest and enthusiasm! Please check out the Noggin website: GET INVOLVED; http://nwnoggin.org/get-involved/


How would one get involved with your organization if they wanted to volunteer?

vintagepillars

Learn more here: http://nwnoggin.org Cheers!


I'm an art major and a neuroscience minor thinking about teaching elementary school post-grad, so this topic is absolutely fascinating to me. How do you ensure that each project has a solid foundation in art history and the principles of art (color, form, line, unity, etc.)? To me, a lot of similar projects are gimmicky and seem more rooted in data visualization.

joshgorgeous23

Jeff: For me arts integration is really thinking about how we learn, so when I design a project I tend to think less about how it ties in with specific principles of art than what I hope a student will get from it. For example, I often want put a project forward as a means for a student to explore a concept in a way that doesn’t require a single right answer, such as neuron metaphor drawings that ask a student to come up with a metaphor for an aspect of the function of a neuron (such as an action potential) and then visualize that metaphor (with this particular project there is a design process that they go through to develop the idea as well). For me, this kind of project gets away from rote memorization of the parts of something and allows students to really think about and reimagine how something actually works. That said, in classes I often discuss the principles of art (Gestalt in particular) in terms of how and why we perceive what we do. For a more updated version of this, take a look at the work of Semir Zeki and V.S. Ramachandran and more recently Anjay Chataree and Eric Kandel.


I'm a K-8 RN school nurse, with degrees in bio and psych as well. What's the very best thing I can teach my kiddos that they may not learn in their traditional classroom regarding stress? TIA!

Hautemilque

Bill: Everyone’s brain and body is different, and some people react strongly to what’s in their environment (your heart may race, your mouth may dry, and you may even shake and tremble) and some much less. That variability is normal, and your brain is still developing. You won’t necessarily always respond this way - but there are also techniques you can use to help relax. It’s pretty impossible to do this while you’re stressed, or experiencing panic, so don’t expect much then. But just understanding that your own brain reacts a certain way - and it’s not a judgement on who you are, or your value, or worth - can make a difference. Breathing in, and then taking time to breathe out, can help calm you down. Stress is also normal, and can offer you energy to accomplish things, and help in some cases. Also, you’re not going to necessarily be this reactive as an adult - our brains grow, and develop, and these shifts in how you think about your situation and the steps you learn to take will affect your own development.


How does the brain recall informations and why are errors possible in that process? And furthermore how is it possible that the brain knows which track to take in the network [which way to take (neurons)] to recall information.

I always thought it's kind of a saved concentration of transmitters.

Hartgen

That's an excellent question! In fact, Edgar Adrian won the Nobel Prize in 1932 for his work on neurons - he literally dug around in his own arm with a wire to record electrical activity from sensory neurons carrying information about tissue damage, temperature, light touch, etc. He listened (through a speaker!) to action potentials, this pattern of electrical information coursing back towards his spinal cord and brain. The nature of that signal (the action potential) was always the same, so it wasn't as if tissue damage generated some sort of unique electrical signal that differed from touch. He determined that what mattered was the type of sensory neuron; that is, specialized tissue damage sensing neurons, known as nociceptors, express different genes and thus build different protein structures than do the Meissner's corpuscles responding to light touch. What also mattered was where (along which synaptically connected networks) that information flowed... And (this is post-Adrian :) changes in the number and frequency of action potentials can alter our synapses - it can strengthen some connections, weaken others, and even kill off neurons, changing how and where information flows in the future...


This is a really great idea! What activities have you used that seem to engage kids the most? What about adults?

The_Duchess

Jeff: We have quite a few projects that we run, take a look at the NWNOGGIN website (nwnoggin.org) for more. A few in particular are neuron gelatin prints, this uses slabs of gelatin (I now use Gelli plates, which are far less messy than actual gelatin) for a negative printmaking process. We take all kinds of plant materials and arrange them on these soft rubber or gelatin plates in neuron like forms. This is a great way to talk about the parts of a neuron and also overlapping concepts like biomimicry. Plus it’s a quick way to make a great looking image! We also have been doing these large brain maps that are cutouts made from construction paper, taped to the floor so that students can sit in the various brain regions. This gives us an opportunity to talk about the different areas of the brain and what they do, we then have students think of imagery that relates to those functions to draw on our paper brain. One of our most popular projects are the pipe cleaner neurons, I like this both for kids and adults it is essentially a way to create a personally relevant model of a neuron and can be made as simple or complex as you want, for example I am currently having my college students make models of sensory neurons (like hair cells in the ear, or rod and cone cells in the eye).


How exactly do you combine arts with hard sciences? The general consensus, in my opinion, is that hard sciences rely on fact and reasoning, while art is more based on emotion and interpretation. Both have uses, but are highly differentiated.

What is the driving force, or how do you get students to buy in to a combination of both, given the variability between the type of people who prefer STEM or the arts?

twistedtrogdor

Bill: This is a great question. Both the arts and sciences share many features, including a core need to tell a story and express or explain thoughts and ideas. We’re always struck by how many scientists are artists - or are fascinated by art - and how many artists are engaged with science. Both scientists and artists work with real materials, they experiment, they hone particular skills, and they make plenty of errors and mistakes that help guide them, and others, towards further understanding. There is usually more than one way to offer insight into a fact. Is light a particle, or a wave, or are both useful models? Scientists are also emotional (we are human), and develop gut insight that influences our interpretation of experimental data.

Bill: We work with a lot of kids considered “academic priority”. They’re struggling in school, and not doing well on standardized, one right answer assessments (where often poorly worded, irrelevant questions are not written by people who study neuroscience, or biology, but by test and textbook publishers). They hate testing - the idea of being in a classroom with another lecture on material for a fill in - the one acceptable bubble exam generates stress, anxiety, etc. Bill: So it’s pretty amazing to bring in our undergraduates and graduates who are excited about the brain, and studying it and conducting research about topics that grab them, like the brain and drugs, depression, sleep, adolescent brain development - with not only real human brains to show them, but also art projects that let them explore these ideas, physically and creatively. You can check our website (pics and videos at nwnoggin.org). We typically get the whole classroom happily building brain cells out of pipe cleaners, for example. Jeff: While there certainly are differences between hard sciences and art are a number of places in which they overlap as well. Great art, like science, always begins with a question; in fact in some ways to both I think the question is often more important than the outcome because that’s what drives inquiry. The other thing that’s important for us is the idea of being able to explore a concept in a way that can accommodate multiple solutions, as educators this is an invaluable tool for us.


How exactly do you combine arts with hard sciences? The general consensus, in my opinion, is that hard sciences rely on fact and reasoning, while art is more based on emotion and interpretation. Both have uses, but are highly differentiated.

What is the driving force, or how do you get students to buy in to a combination of both, given the variability between the type of people who prefer STEM or the arts?

twistedtrogdor

Jeff: While there certainly are differences between hard sciences and art are a number of places in which they overlap as well. Great art, like science, always begins with a question; in fact in some ways to both I think the question is often more important than the outcome because that’s what drives inquiry. The other thing that’s important for us is the idea of being able to explore a concept in a way that can accommodate multiple solutions, as educators this is an invaluable tool for us.


Jeez I read that as "euthanize kids K-12"

What is the desired outcome of your research?

mrcool581

Bill: Our main goal is to enthuse and excite the next generation of scientists and artists, and the public, too, about research discovery and innovation in both science and art. Since 2012, we’ve brought our extra human brains, our student volunteers and lots of paper, clay, pipe cleaners and pens to more than 14,000 K-12 students (none of them euthanized).


How can I make art for you guys?

thekatelab

Bill: Come join us! We welcome input and engagement; there is so much talent in our own communities, and making connections across disciplines, institutions, generations is pretty critical for fostering innovation. Check out: nwnoggin.org


How does the brain work?

BANMEAGAIN009

Bill: I’m going to need more coffee here! One reason we like to work with kids is because they are the generation that will bring us closer to understanding. This is definitely a huge question. Our brains are extraordinary communities of interacting cells, many of them linked in wire-like networks that carry electricity and communicate chemically at gaps (called synapses). And carrying information can change how they wire up together, altering how future information flows. We love to tell students that they are made of something - there is something physical behind their foreheads - that actually grows and changes with experience. Babies go from some 200 billion neurons at birth down to about 86 billion as an adult, and clearly you walk, talk, remember and consider more when someone’s not changing your diapers. It’s not the number of brain cells that matter - it’s how they wire up in networks. So what we do and experience has great influence over those that stick around routing what we see, hear, smell, feel to areas involved in what we perceive, remember, plan and decide. Further efforts (and research investment) in understanding this remarkable organ excites lots of people.


Do you plan to start doing it overseas?

Tablepros

Absolutely! In fact, last summer we were honored to visit an amazing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) outreach program in Valparaiso, Chile - an incredible city of both science and art! Check out our post about this experience with Ciencia al Tiro: La Alegría de la Ciencia (http://nwnoggin.org/2016/08/02/la-alegria-de-la-ciencia/)


Hi Bill and Jeff,

Bill...I had you in two of my psych classes and they were always outstanding. Thank you so much!

I was wondering if there has been any discussion of extending this project to the homeless population in Portland. I'm sure a big part of the success with the K-12 crowd is due to the neuroplasicity of young brains but considering that you're touching on topics such as depression and anxiety, I can see this as being a huge value to that community. Thoughts? Plans?

tinybomb

We have HUGELY enjoyed working with young people at p:ear, a remarkable community resource in Portland - an organization that serves as a safe, secure daytime gathering place for homeless youth, where there is good food, art supplies, and exceptional, caring staff. NWNoggin started bringing brains and art projects there a few years ago, and we’ve had a terrific time discussing the brain and drugs, anxiety, depression, development, etc, screen printing t-shirts, messing up taste buds with miracle berries, and attaching electrodes to measure our own cortical activity… We’re now organizing a public event in the fall on homelessness and the brain - since each one of us would experience significant mental health concerns if we lacked a safe, secure place to sleep each night. We’re aiming for a forum that brings together graduate students studying the brain, clinicians who work with homeless individuals, city and county commissioners who determine policy and budgets, and the young people at p:ear, who are keeping sleep diaries and working on creative ways to express their experiences, and collect data on when/where they sleep, fragmentation of sleep, etc. You can learn more about our work with p:ear, and our plans for this effort here: http://nwnoggin.org/get-involved/pear/


How do organizations/institutions like yours find artists to collaborate with you on projects? Do they recruit from within the university? Is there an application process? Any information you could share would be helpful to the art community. I know there are a lot of us out there who would like to use our skills to help with STEAM projects but are uncertain of the proper way of getting involved. Keep up the good work, guys! Thanks for doing what you do!

mrhidiho

Jeff: For school visits we often find our volunteers in the universities we work with, and many times they are current or former students of ours, it sometimes helps to have that kind of personal connection. That said there is a sign up for volunteers on our website (http://nwnoggin.org/get-involved/) and we do get people interested in working with us from that as well. The artists that we have do our Velo cult lectures (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/05/23/changing-brain-waves-of-depression/) for us are generally artists in the community that we’ve reached out to because we felt their work would pair well with a researcher that we know, however it would be great to hear from artists who have an interest in a specific area as well!


Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! As a PhD student in neuroscience with an interest in science outreach and science communication, I've always wondered what the best way to go about educating young students about neuroscience is; you want to convey the complexity and majesty of the brain and all that it can do, but I imagine not by watering it down too much.

How do you go about generating interest in young students, or even laypeople, who may have little to no understanding about neuroscience? I want others to be able to share in my excitement about new research in the field, especially in neurodegenerative diseases that will increasingly affect the United States. Thanks so much!

moongrey

We don’t typically water down material - so much of this is based on structure/function relationships (what something is shaped like, how it’s built, determines what it does), which kids (and the public) get intuitively. But language - all the specialized terms - often get in the way. We love bringing grad students into classrooms and public settings to explain their research, and we ask them to step back and consider how they can explain resting potentials, action potentials, receptors, etc. in accessible ways, using metaphor, and through art projects that help their audience grasp the concepts and ideas. Grad students are between their undergraduate phase, where they could speak with others, and the full scientist stage, where often they’re more limited in who they converse with. And it’s great when they realize, while breaking down their research into accessible steps, that there are steps they are still fuzzy and unclear on. Many tell us that these classroom visits were essential for helping hone their ideas…


Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! As a PhD student in neuroscience with an interest in science outreach and science communication, I've always wondered what the best way to go about educating young students about neuroscience is; you want to convey the complexity and majesty of the brain and all that it can do, but I imagine not by watering it down too much.

How do you go about generating interest in young students, or even laypeople, who may have little to no understanding about neuroscience? I want others to be able to share in my excitement about new research in the field, especially in neurodegenerative diseases that will increasingly affect the United States. Thanks so much!

moongrey

How do you go about generating interest in young students, or even laypeople, who may have little to no understanding about neuroscience? We usually let K-12 students decide on topics - we ask them what they really want to know about the brain. We also do free, all ages art and science outreach events at a bike shop pub in Portland called Velo Cult (velocult.com). The venue, the cross-disciplinary aspect, and the fact that new scientists and artists are presenting cutting edge work definitely helps (for the adults, so does good Northwest beer :). And we always write up posts about these efforts, with links to relevant research supporting what was presented. For some examples, please check out: NW Noggin @ Velo Cult; http://nwnoggin.org/get-involved/velo-cult/


Yeah Portland!

What's your favorite aspect about the brain?

dee3Poh

I'm very curious about sensation and perception, and how we're only privy to limited aspects of the information-rich energy all around (and within) us, and how our perceptual networks develop with experience, often in individualized ways. I'm fascinated by synesthesia (we often encounter K-12 students who see numbers with specific colors, for example), and with artists that play with our perceptual experiences (look up Yayoi Kusuma, for example). We are such clever primates, of course, that we've created technology capable of utilizing other energies (different electromagnetic spectra, for example) to use for communication, and discovery - though we still need to translate this into visual or auditory signals which we can detect...


Thanks so much for doing this AMA! I'd like to know if you could tell us how long it took for you to take this from "awesome idea" to established program?

Oo_oD

This is a great question - though I'm not sure how "established" we really are! Jeff and I were trying to think about what to do with our own middle schoolers over the summer back in 2012, and we offered to invite some of our university students into the classroom for a four week summer program on the brain and art. We had a blast, and students kept returning for more (it was part of a free County program, and no one had to be there :). Several years later, we've now brought brains and gel printed neurons to over 14,000 kids! We are still largely volunteer, though we are grateful to teach at Portland State, and we have terrific support from them and OHSU, for example, for our pipe cleaners and other supplies... But we also became a nonprofit last year (see http://nwnoggin.org/2016/11/26/nonprofit-noggins-for-givingtuesday/) and we're planning outreach in Washington DC this fall, at public schools, at the Society for Neuroscience conference, and in the US Congress (we're bringing brains to Congress!). Learn more here: #brains2DC! (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/02/28/brains2dc/)


Is there a certain age group where collaboration becomes difficult, if so what age group work the best together?

drchopsalot

We've worked with all ages - from kindergartners to seniors! This topic - your brain, and what we're discovering - grabs just about everyone. We always start by introducing ourselves, so people hear about potentially new educational and research opportunities, and then ask them what they already know (many have done research on their own already). With younger kids we talk less at the beginning, and dive into smaller groups to take questions as they look at brains, and work on their art...


Can you give an example of a time you successfully used art to convey a scientific concept?

Bookbringer

Bill: Here's a recent example. This was a recent, very powerful public experience: "Changing Brain Waves of Depression"; http://nwnoggin.org/2017/05/23/changing-brain-waves-of-depression/


What are some examples of the work you do for children in the K-2nd grade age? I work in a children's museum and would enjoy introducing these concepts to my education director. Thank you!

DJMOSHIMOSHI

Here are a few related posts - we always try to write up detailed descriptions, with links and pictures - about our outreach experiences, so anyone else can try this too! "Axons @ Ardenwald!" (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/06/07/axons-ardenwald/); "Una sinapsis con Sitton" (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/05/18/una-sinapsis-con-sitton/); "A Synapse with Sitton" (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/05/11/a-synapse-with-sitton/); "Dopamine in Davenport!" (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/03/20/dopamine-in-davenport/); "Spies, Scouts & Scribes at Bonny Slope" (http://nwnoggin.org/2016/03/12/spies-scouts-scribes-at-bonny-slope/); "The Land of Cerebrum" (http://nwnoggin.org/2016/03/05/the-land-of-cerebrum/); "First graders grow dendrites!" (http://nwnoggin.org/2015/05/28/first-graders-grow-dendrites/)


What are some examples of the work you do for children in the K-2nd grade age? I work in a children's museum and would enjoy introducing these concepts to my education director. Thank you!

DJMOSHIMOSHI

Jeff: We’ve done a number of projects with k-2 students, one of my favorites is this brain map (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/05/11/a-synapse-with-sitton/). We cut out a large brain from construction paper divided into different lobes or brain areas depending on what you want to talk about. We have the kids sit on the different areas, this gives us an opportunity to discuss some of the different functions of these parts of the brain in a very active way. We then have the students visualize those functions and draw them on the paper brain. Another project that is maybe a bit more portable are these neuron gel prints (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/03/12/pipe-cleaners-gel-prints-electrodes-brains/) this is a negative printmaking process where we place plant materials on a soft gel plate to make neuron like images, this not only a quick way to get some often beautiful images but it also gives us a chance to talk about the structure of a neuron and some overlapping concepts like bio mimicry, in the case of younger students this is often just observing similarities in form between plants and neurons. And of course there these pipe cleaner neurons (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/03/12/byrom-brains/) which are always a favorite, and are great for discussing the form and function of neurons.


I had to do a double take when I saw this on the front page! Dr. Griesar, I took a course of yours several years ago and it was so incredibly challenging and rewarding. Though I have found my passion in working for a nonprofit, I think of my SPHR professors fondly and often. I'm grateful for you all, and this new project is wonderful. Thank you.

dogwitheyebrows

Wow, thank you - and thank you for taking that course!


What is teaching neuroscience like? Also if you were able to choose any other major/subject to teach what would it be?

terry10101001

I LOVE it! It’s an inherently fascinating and engaging subject, since everyone has a brain. Like many, I’ve been curious about why I’m conscious, why I feel the way I do, why I remember what I remember, why I do what I do. Since I was a kid, and these sorts of philosophical questions can be addressed - more and more through getting under the hood and examining the structural and functional organization and development of our brains. I’m learning a lot about art, too, through this outreach work with Jeff - though I’m definitely not confident in teaching art classes! (Though we’re both looking into teaching science communication courses at Portland State).


How important do you think it is to harness the arts in helping the public to engage with science? And how important is it to get that engagement "right", e.g. to tap into certain trends in presentation etc?

What are some of the best projects you've seen (other than your own) that use art to communicate ideas in science?

WCBH86

Jeff: I think it can be very important, artists are good at communicating concepts emotionally and often in a very succinct way. We have a regular lecture series we put on in Portland that pairs a graduate student from one of the area labs with an artist. We let them develop their own presentation together and it’s always surprising and interesting to see what they come up with. For example, we recently had an artist Sienna Morris and Brittany Alperin a graduate student from OHSU give a presentation on depression in the brain after spending some time in the lab with with Brittany gathering some eeg data Sienna was able to come up with some incredibly moving images based on the numbers derived in the lab, which was particularly salient because Sienna herself suffers from depression. If you get the chance we have many more examples in the blog section of our website (nwnoggin.org) take a look!


Does anyone know anything about why ECT works yet?

sewerferaligatr

Here's one idea: "Electroconvulsive therapy's mechanism of action: neuroendocrine hypotheses"; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24800689 The federal government funds lots of fascinating and relevant research on a host of critical issues, and much of it is available online. We always write up blog posts about our visits to classrooms, and include links to these peer-reviewed sources. Check out examples here: Noggin Bloggin; http://nwnoggin.org/outreach-opportunities/


Do you develop games to help kids learn based on your research results? Does your research help kids learn faster? Does it increase the volume of what kids are able to absorb?

napjerks

There is great research from a scientist named Mariale Hardiman on this topic - arts integration in classrooms increases memory for the topics taught! You can learn more here: “STEAM @ Newmark: Better schools with improv and art”; http://nwnoggin.org/2015/06/02/steam-newmark-better-schools-with-improv-and-art/


I started a literary journal called In Layman's Terms with the purpose of combining literature and art to help garner interest in and understanding of science, technology, and the natural world. How would you say using art helps people learn about more complex concepts? Do you see the kids you work with getting more involved or interested in science when they involve multiple areas of the brain to engage in the subject matter?

anatopism

Jeff: Absolutely! There are a number of reasons. The first for me is that art allows students a way to explore these complex concepts without requiring them to have a single right answer. For so many of the students, we work with who have not been successful in the traditional school model this makes a big difference. Second, this allows our students a way to make the material personally relevant; there are a lot of kids out there who either don’t really see what this has to do with them or worse have never been exposed to science as an option. Last and one of the things that we realized through developing this program is that not everyone’s learning will or should look the same, one of the great things about art is that it is easily differentiated and can accommodate many different kinds of learners.


What can professional artists do to be involved?

sunrise_review

Jeff: There are a few ways to get involved depending on what your interests are. For school visits just sign up on our website (nwnoggin.org) under the “get involved” tab and we’ll send you information on upcoming outreach events. We also have a lecture series we put on at Velo cult here in NE Portland where we take a graduate student from one of the area labs and pair them with an artist depending on their area of inquiry. If you’re interested (and around Portland at any time) let us know what you do.


What is the grandest result you feel would be possible at the macro level (societal or global) if STEM and/or specifically your field, was an order of magnitude more popular and broadly understood? Thanks for your time and best wishes in your endeavor.

floggeriffic

I think we’d be more informed - and more innovative and creative in our responses to global and societal challenges. Understanding the brain, treating brain disorders, effectively addressing homelessness, mental illness - is rarely a one right answer on a standardized state test.


Up-and-coming special education teacher and former psych student of Dr. Griesar. Raddest prof at Portland State, keep up the great work! I have two questions for y'all. 1) Have you ever presented to a classroom of students with developmental disabilities, such as ASD? If so, what was your experience like? 2) What topics would you say have been the most interesting and engaging for students in middle/high schools, the ones that got the most excitement?

clownbird

Bill: 1) We visit many “academic priority” classrooms, and often in schools with diverse populations. We often speak with students with ASD, ADHD, anxiety, depression - and in some cases the school explicitly welcomes these students into all classrooms. An example is our recent series of visits to Sitton Elementary in North Portland: See “Sulci in St. Johns”; (http://nwnoggin.org/2017/05/26/sulci-in-st-johns/) 2) Drugs! We get amazing questions about cannabinoids, opioids, alcohol, nicotine - and kids are hungry for evidence-based information (for an example, see: “Dopamine in Davenport”; http://nwnoggin.org/2017/03/20/dopamine-in-davenport/). Also SLEEP - many adolescents are chronically sleep-deprived (see “Noggins in Nod”; http://nwnoggin.org/2017/04/08/noggins-nod-the-science-of-sleep/). And adolescent brain development in general - the idea that our brains are changing, and there is great variability in this process. Many of our grad students work in labs examining both structural changes (the degree of neural connectivity between different brain areas that work together as functional networks) and functional changes (how well do these developing areas collaborate to let us plan, consider, attend, remember, decide…)


How many times a week do you eat at Baan Thai on Broadway?

jdeejohnston

We love that place :)


Not a question but a shout out. I saw your presentation as part of the PNW change management conference last year and it was great. I will always remember picking up that human brain. Heavier than I expected.

Porterpoopiepants

Thank you! We had a great time at that conference. Our graduates and undergrads enjoyed presenting on their current research at OHSU, PSU, etc. We wrote up a blog post about the experience, too: "The Art and Neuroscience of Change"; http://nwnoggin.org/2016/10/10/the-art-and-neuroscience-of-change/


Bill! Not a question, but I am a previous student of yours and want to just thank you for making neurology one of the best classes that I have ever taken. Thanks for all that you do for the field.

dmj234

Thank you - and thank you for taking the class!


So far I've decided to stick to the STEM side, can you explain why you think STEAM is a better option?

Demstillers7

We've found, through work with thousands of K-12 kids in Portland, Vancouver, San Diego, DC, that the arts engage our students (and the public) - and do a lot more, too. Check out some of our outreach experiences; for example: "Axons @ Ardenwald!"; http://nwnoggin.org/2017/06/07/axons-ardenwald/ A group of interdisciplinary faculty at SUNY Potsdam also argue that adding arts into STEM encourages innovations in science and technology (see Madden et al., 2013). Similar support for a STEAM educational approach has come from the fields of engineering and technology (Conner et al., 2015), computer science (Park & Lee, 2014), medicine (Howell, et al., 2013; Pellico et al., 2009; Stuckey & Nobel, 2010), arts and science education (Acosta, A., 2015; Cropley, 2001; Laursen et al., 2007), and many others (including Hardiman et al., Harksen et al., 2014; 2012; Madden et al., 2013; Mishook and Mindy, 2006; Mote et al., 2014; Oner et al., 2016; Thurley, 2016; Radziwill et al., 2015). (Research citations are from PSU undergraduate Kayla Townsley, who has been working on a thesis about arts integration in STEM. You can learn more about Kayla here: "Kayla Townsley: The neuroscience of teaching art & science," http://nwnoggin.org/2017/04/18/kayla-townsley-the-science-of-art-science/


My niece is graduating High School in 2 years. She loves art, AND wants to be a Neuroscientist. How would she best be able to get involved with your organization and how can I best encourage her?

DrkKnght1138

Jeff: Although most of our volunteers are undergraduate and graduate students we have had a number of high school students work with us and would certainly welcome more! There is a link on our website (nwnoggin.org) under the “get involved” tab, just sign up for that and we’ll let you know about upcoming events. We work primarily in the pacific northwest but have done a few events in Washington DC and would love to do some in philly, it’s just a matter of getting out there.


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