[FUN_Mail] Northwestern Neuroscience Camp for high school students

Davis, Ralph redavis at nwciowa.edu
Tue Mar 26 20:22:32 EDT 2013

Dear fellow FUNners,
My name is Ralph Davis and I am the only neuroscientist at Northwestern College, a small liberal arts college in Orange City, Iowa.  Like many of you I do a lot of neuroscience educational outreach (BAW, etc.), including a Northwestern Neuroscience Camp (NNC) for high school students.  I will be offering two NNCs this summer and thought that perhaps you might know a high school junior or senior who is curious about or possibly interested in exploring neuroscience.  One of the places I have promoted NNC in the past (beside the NNC website, http://www.nwciowa.edu/biology/neuroscience/camp) is through Eric Chudler's Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter and Eric has graciously offered to promote it in the April edition again this year.  The promo will be something like the following:
Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa) will host its 6th season of Northwestern Neuroscience Camps this summer for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in learning more about the brain and nervous system. Participants stay on Northwestern's campus for one week (Monday-Friday) and participate in mini-lectures, demonstrations and hands-on experiments designed to teach them about the brain, nervous system and career opportunities in neuroscience.
Campers take part in simple electrophysiology and neuropharmacology experiments. They dissect a sheep brain, use computer simulation to dissect a human brain, study the nervous system in the college cadaver lab and record the electrical activity of their own brains among many other activities. Northwestern Neuroscience Camp also includes a field trip to the University of South Dakota's Sanford School of Medicine to visit 6 active neuroscience research labs doing research that span the field from molecules and genes through cells, neural circuits and animal behavior; participants also take a tour of the Imaging Facility (CT, MRI scanners) at the area hospital to learn about brain imaging.
"Neuroscience at the Movies" and various recreational activities are planned for campers' evenings.
The deadline to apply for the camp is May 1, 2013.  For more information about the camp including more details about activities, testimonials, costs, housing, and an application form, see: http://www.nwciowa.edu/biology/neuroscience/camp
If you know of a high school student who you think might be interested, feel free to pass this information on to them.  I will do my best to excite and inform them about neuroscience; who knows, if I can get them excited enough about neuroscience, they may represent a future undergrad in your neuroscience program.  The NNC is not for students who already have a lot of background or are already very knowledgeable about neuroscience, but rather is for students who perhaps have done some reading and would like to learn more.  Take a look at the NNC website to see more details.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Finally, just a word of encouragement to all, especially those who (like me) are perhaps the only neuroscientist or are one of just a few at a small institution: your hard work and efforts at outreach are really worth it.  A few months back I was thinking about whether to offer another round of NNCs this summer (it's a whale of a lot of work!) and received this email:
Dear Dr. Davis,

Greetings! I'm not sure if you remember me, but I attended your neuroscience camp in the summer of 2009. Yes, it's been a long time, and a lot has happened since then!

I'm currently in my junior year at Harvard, and after two years focusing on an economics degree I've decided to also do a minor in neurobiology. I just wanted to drop a line and let you know how great it is to have the experience of your neuroscience camp as a foundation. You wouldn't believe how often, when I'm trying to understand a new concept, it helps to go back to what I learned at camp, put everything in perspective, and then go back to the problem at hand.

So basically, thank you so much for doing what you do! I know that if it weren't for your camp, I wouldn't be where I am now, and I definitely wouldn't be doing what I'm doing.

Keep up the good work, and thanks for spreading your passion for what you do! If I'm ever back around Orange City, I'd love to catch up and talk neuroscience for a bit!

I know you all receive emails like this every once in a while (perhaps not as frequently as we all would like :)), but please know that there are students out there that you have influenced in similar ways over the years.  Be encouraged and keep up the great work you are doing.  Those former students really do appreciate your efforts, whether it's training you've provided in your courses or lab research projects or neuroscience educational outreach, etc.  It's very satisfying to be part of an organization like FUN where you know you are part of a team, where so many are doing so much to nurture the next generation of young neuroscientists.
If you have any questions about NNC, feel free to contact me.  (BTW - Muhlenberg College also offers a great Brain Camp for high school students and perhaps their camp info will be online soon as well.)
Serving the next generation, along with you,

Ralph Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Neuroscience and Persons (NAPs) Program
http://www.nwciowa.edu/biology/neuroscience; http://www.nwciowa.edu/biology/programs/neuroscience-and-persons-naps
Northwestern Neuroscience Camp for High School Students

Northwestern College
101 7th St. SW
Orange City, IA 51041

Email: redavis at nwciowa.edu<mailto:redavis at nwciowa.edu>
Phone: 712-707-7006 (office)
            712-707-7339 (lab)

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