By Ray Luo.
The dream of becoming a neurosurgeon will begin for some underprivileged kids at the UCLA campus.
The annual Brain Awareness Week is bringing over 450 students from title I schools like Crenshaw high school and Cochran middle school to UCLA to learn about neuroscience, experience brain specimens, tour scientific laboratories, and explore a career in research and medicine.
The effort is a part of an international campaign to raise public awareness about brain research led by the Society for Neuroscience. It is spearheaded at UCLA by Project Brainstorm, a graduate student group that works with other campus organizations to educate K-12 students about neuroscience.
“The kids who are coming here are really in need of connecting with students, and seeing their faces, and asking questions, and seeing students like them who make it through the process to go to college in science fields, and putting a face with that career,” says Nanthia Suthana, a graduate student in neuroscience and one of the main organizers of Brain Awareness Week at UCLA.
The number of volunteers at UCLA has doubled from last year to over 100, partly because they recognize the need to enhance diversity in the sciences and in graduate education, said Suthana.