Oregon's Annual Brain Awareness Week Celebration Kicks off this Weekend

03/06/02    Portland, Ore.

Annual event features brain games, hands-on exhibits, an Einstein look-alike contest and real brains!

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have once again teamed up to provide Oregonians with an entire week of mind-expanding events. Brain Awareness Week 2002 begins this weekend and offers a series of educational and entertaining events for the whole family.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, families will converge on OMSI to attend the Brain Fair. This free event will feature hands-on exhibits about the brain, how it works and the factors that can impede its function. Family members will learn about the brain by taking part in educational and fun demonstrations by David Heil, former host of the PBS show "Newton's Apple," and Eric Chudler, Ph.D., director of the Neuroscience for Kids Web site. Kids will also get a chance to see real brains close up, learn about the senses through demonstrations, and meet OHSU neuroscientists in person.

On Saturday morning, before the Brain Fair kicks off, students from across the Portland area compete head-to-head in a Brain Bowl competition. The students taking part in this college-bowl type event will take turns answering questions about the brain in a playoff format where one school claims victory and prizes at the conclusion of the competition.

In addition to the Brain Fair and Brain Bowl, a number of other mind-expanding events are taking place at OMSI. On Saturday, March 9, at 1:30 p.m., kids and adults can take part in Einstein's birthday celebration. The party will feature cake, opportunities to receive an Einstein makeover and an Einstein look-alike contest. In addition, the science museum is currently hosting "Brain: The World Inside Your Head.***" Fresh from its grand opening at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the nationally touring exhibit features virtual reality presentations, video games, optical illusions, special effects and hands-on displays to help demystify the workings of the brain for museum goers of all ages.

For those seeking additional information about the workings of the mind, OHSU and OMSI are hosting a series of public talks. This year's Brain Awareness Week keynote speaker is nationally recognized, best-selling author and neuroscience expert Richard Restak, M.D., who will reveal the amazing process of brain development throughout life. His most recent book, "The Secret Life of the Brain," is a companion piece to a recently aired PBS series of the same name. Restak's March 10 lecture at OMSI is already filled to capacity. A videotape replay of the lecture will take place on April 28 at 11 a.m. Call 503 418-2515 to reserve seats.

Additional speakers include nationally recognized education consultant and author Pat Wolfe, Ed.D. She will explain the latest education research on learning and memory, and discuss how it relates to today's school children. On March 14, Jeffrey Kaye, M.D., director of the Oregon Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center at OHSU will explain ways to prevent brain function deterioration late in life.

BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK 2002
MARCH 9 - 17

Note: Pre-registration for all public talks is recommended. Call 503 418-2515 to reserve seats.

   
March 9
9 a.m.     BRAIN BOWL FINALS -- Local high school students match wits answering questions about the brain in a college bowl-type format.
March 9 - 10
Noon - 5 p.m.     2002 BRAIN FAIR -- Interactive exhibits hosted by real neuroscientists, Einstein's birthday celebration featuring an Einstein look-alike contest, games, prizes, informational booths on diseases that affect the brain, and real brains!
March 10
7:30 p.m.     BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK -- KEYNOTE LECTURE -- Richard Restak, M.D., neuroscientist and best-selling author reveals the amazing process of brain development. Note: This event filled during preregistration. A video replay is scheduled for April 28 at 11 a.m.
March 11
7 p.m.     LECTURE: HOW YOUR CHILD LEARNS -- National education consultant and author Pat Wolfe, Ed.D., explains the latest research on learning and memory, and how it relates to your child.
March 14
7 p.m.     LECTURE: PREVENTING OR DELAYING ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE -- Jeffrey Kaye, M.D., director of OHSU's Oregon Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center, talks about the latest findings on dementia and promising investigations in preventing brain function deterioration later in life.

*** OMSI admission is required for Einstein's birthday celebration and "Brain: The World Inside Your Head."
   
For additional information on Brain Awareness Week 2002, visit http://soar.ohsu.edu/baw/

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