Brain Awareness Fair set for Saturday in South Bend

Author: Erin Blasko

The Neuroscience and Behavior Major at the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with Self-Healing Communities of Greater Michiana, will host a Brain Awareness Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (April 6) at the Howard Park Event Center in South Bend.

Free and open to the public, the all-ages event will offer opportunities for families to participate in hands-on activities designed to boost public enthusiasm and support for neuroscience — ranging from building brain cells with candy to optical illusions to memory benders.

Inspired by the Dana Foundation, the nonprofit behind Brain Awareness Week, the Neuroscience and Behavior Major has long strived to engage the public around the importance of neuroscience as it relates to our understanding of the human body.

In addition to the Brain Awareness Fair, the major engages students across disciplines to lead hands-on programs and activities year-round at schools, libraries and other locations in the South Bend-Elkhart community as part of its Brain Ambassadors program.

“The idea of a Brain Awareness Fair might sound strange, but it turns out most humans are actually pretty curious about themselves,” said Nancy Michael, the Rev. John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Associate Teaching Professor and director of undergraduate studies in neuroscience and behavior at Notre Dame. “This fair offers everyone a great way to get to know themselves a little better and one fun way to explore how neuroscience intersects with society — think of a pop-up hands-on science museum, but all about the brain. What could be more fun than that?”

“Another thing I love about these events,” Michael said, “is they offer an opportunity to ‘bridge the gap’ that often exists between student's experience on campus and our South Bend community. I love South Bend. I love living in South Bend and I'm proud to raise my family here, and these fairs offer a great opportunity to share our community — the place where we live — with the students on campus.”

Velshonna Luckey is the executive director of Self-Healing Communities of Greater Michiana, which curates resources on the neuroscience of trauma and human resilience to help community leaders and members better care for one another.

“Self-Healing Communities of Greater Michiana is a movement that aims to teach everyone how to care for themselves and others while prioritizing brain care,” Luckey said. “This event is a beautiful time that entire families can learn together. There will be activities to help everyone dive into the wonders of the brain in fun and exciting ways.”

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Originally published by Erin Blasko at on April 03, 2024.