On January 26, 2020, the All Girls STEM Society hosted a neuroscience workshop at the Mission Valley Public Library with over 50 young girls in attendance. In this workshop, led by co-president Amanda Tran, girls learned about the different parts and functions of the human brain.
Amanda began the workshop by talking about the three basic parts of the brain and their roles. She then gave an overview of what neurons are, the differences between neurons and nerves, and the three different zones of these cells. This lecture then led to a small group discussion at their tables about how brains and computers can be both similar and different. When discussing all together, one girl replied, “They both store information.” While the girls found many similarities between brains and computers, they also recognized major differences. One participant mentioned that brains have emotions whereas computers are just programmed. This was followed by an exciting game of trivia with questions related to the brain and neurons in both humans and animals. Next, the girls created a neuron with different colored beads and string. One girl said, “I really liked this activity because I love learning how to make and create new things.” Many girls also enjoyed this activity as they asked to make a second neuron after they had finished. Once finished, the girls were given the opportunity to win a prize if they could explain to Amanda the different parts of the neuron and what they do.
After a much needed break with cookies and bananas, Amanda continued teaching about the four lobes of the brain. When asked if anyone knew what they were, one girl said, “I know that one is the frontal lobe and another is the temporal.” To better understand the function of the four lobes, the girls participated in a fun activity where they played a matching game. The goal was to match all the given scenarios to a specific lobe quickly and accurately. The first table group to do so won a prize!
To wrap up the workshop, the girls participated in a thrilling game of jeopardy to review all the topics that they had learned about throughout the day. When asked if they wanted to play, all the girls enthusiastically shouted, “Yes!” As the girls began to leave, one girl stated, “This is my fifth workshop that I have been to, but this has been my favorite!”