LOS ANGELES (May 6, 1999) -- It isn't every day that you get to gaze at the brain of a cow. But 123 seventh-grade students will have that opportunity on Friday, May 14 when the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute hosts its second annual Brainworks program.
In addition to hearing about the challenges and rewards of science -- as presented by physicians, researchers and other members of the institute's professional staff -- the students will be able to tour a variety of hands-on stations. At one, for instance, they'll see brain cells through a microscope. At another, they'll learn about the brain through interactive computer programs.
They'll see actual surgical instruments and learn how they work. They'll meet members of the institute's staff and have a chance to ask questions about careers in the neurosciences. They'll be able to dress up in surgical scrubs and have their pictures taken with Keith L. Black, M.D., the renowned neurosurgeon who directs the institute and hopes to help students become excited about the brain and the sciences.
To help the students understand the challenges faced by patients who suffer injuries or diseases of the brain -- and the efforts of rehabilitation specialists to help those who have disabilities -- students will be invited to assume the roles of patients and therapists. They will use wheelchairs and other 'props' to make the experience more real.
In addition to 120 students from five Los Angeles Unified School District schools, three hearing-impaired students are expected to attend, assisted by interpreters. Teachers at the schools selected the students based on interest and excellence in science.
The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students will receive Frisbees, T-shirts and even little rubber brains to take home.