Education

The Centre’s Education Program was developed to nurture the next generation of brain researchers. The program brought together Centre researchers and students of all ages, engaging them in active learning and providing real-world examples or careers in brain research.

Beginning at a primary school level, our Education Program introduced brain research to students and encouraged them to learn about the brain in a fun and interactive way. For secondary school students, they were challenged to explore complex neuroscience concepts.

Primary Schools

The Centre’s annual creative art competition invited primary school students from around Australia to create an artwork inspired the brain. The competition was held as part of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to foster awareness of brain research.

Prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place across three age categories:

  • Foundation year (Prep) -Year 1
  • Years 2 – 4
  • Years 5 – 6

The winners received a prize pack and each winner’s school received a brain-related resource pack and a voucher to purchase additional educational resources. In addition, the 1st place winners received a special visit by Centre researchers to award their prizes in person, and deliver an age appropriate interactive educational lesson about the brain to the winner’s class.

Since its inception in 2016, we received over 4,000 artworks across six years, from every state and territory in Australia. The artworks were so well received that many were placed on display around the Centre Nodes and a selection formed an exhibition for several public libraries. Many artworks were used in our promotional material, and a coffee table book featuring several artworks alongside our Brain Dialogue research summaries was published in 2020.

Secondary Schools

The Centre first sponsored and then hosted the Australian and New Zealand Brain Bee Challenge.   The Brain Bee Challenge is an annual neuroscience competition for students in year 10 in Australia and New Zealand that tests their knowledge of the human brain. The event also dispels myths about the brain, and inspires students to pursue brain-related careers in medicine and research.

The competition begins with an online quiz, then progresses to regional and national finals. The national final takes place as part of the Australasian Neuroscience Society’s Annual Meeting, where one overall winner is decided upon for each nation. The Australian and New Zealand national champions are awarded an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the International Brain Bee Championships.

Tertiary

To share knowledge and skills with university students, the Centre held several specialised workshops and training courses. These included:

  • Neuroanatomy workshops hosted by world-renowned expert Professor Charles Watson
  • Masterclass in Fundamental Neuroanatomy hosted by Luis Puelles
  • Technical workshops on operating equipment including Magneto Encephalography, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Radiotracers in Positron Emission Tomography
  • Advanced programming workshops on MATLAB and Python