On 14th March the Unit held its seventh annual Open Day for local schools. Four local schools attended the day and 48 sixth form students took part in the activities. After a brief introductory talk by Dr Jeff McIlhinney, which described the breadth of the Unit's work, from molecules to minds, and introduced the students to some basic brain facts, they were able to visit the laboratories. Here they spent time getting hands-on experience with instruments and real specimens, providing a glimpse of what to expect in a working research laboratory. They all visited two of the research groups.
Student feedback indicated that the visit was very stimulating, and that the research they were shown was interesting. Several students asked questions that indicated an interest in how to become a research scientist, as well as what it was like to do research, and how well it was paid. It was clear that the teachers also found the experience stimulating, and we were again told that after last year's visit some students were inspired to make University applications for various bioscience degrees, including neuroscience and medicine. From the students' responses the highlights of the visit included: looking at specimens in the electron microscope, seeing how the brains were sectioned, doing the molecular biology mini-practical, seeing the confocal microscope images, the Parkinson's talk, being told about how to monitor brain activity and how this can represent learning processes. Thanks to all who participated and made this day possible.
The Unit held its eighth annual Open Day for local schools on the 14th of March. Six local schools attended the day and 110 students and teachers took part in the activities. Dr Marco Capogna introduced the visit with a short presentation of the Unit's work; we are aiming to advance fundamental knowledge of the brain and to contribute toward a better neurobiological understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders. He presented examples of Unit's results, from molecules to single neurons and neuronal networks.
On 25th March the Unit held its sixth Open Day for local schools with over 80 students taking part from six local schools. Dr Jozsef Csicsvari gave an introductory talk and an outline about the Unit's work and some basic facts about the brain. Students then spent time in the laboratories, getting hands-on experience with instruments and real specimens, providing a glimpse of what to expect in a working research laboratory. They all visited two groups.
The Unit held its ninth annual Open Day, coinciding with the MRC Centenary week, for local schools on the 25 June 2013. The MRC is celebrating 100 years of medical research. Seven local schools attended the day and 120 pupils and teachers took part in the activities. Professor Peter Somogyi introduced the visit with a short presentation on the MRC’s work celebrating a hundred years of life-changing discoveries achievements. He acknowledged those who have supported us along the way, and introduced the great burden that diseases of the brain impose on society.
About twenty science teachers of Oxford's local schools visited our Unit on the 13th of November 2009. Sixteen schools were represented.
First, Dr. Marco Capogna gave an outline about the Unit's work and introduced some basic facts about the brain. This was followed by a comprehensive talk by Dr. Joseph O' Neill, who explained the links between learning and memory, hippocampus and sleep. The talks raised several questions and a lively discussion took place.
Yesterday, another class of artists came to visit the Basal Ganglia labs. It is the beginning of term, and the new first year students on the Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science Programme are straight into an introduction to a biomedical research lab.