Students of Purdue University Calumet’s “Neuroscience of Motivated Behavior” psychology course this fall gained an overview of how the brain functions, then applied and interpreted lessons they learned via topical, community presentations.
Course instructor and Assistant Professor of Psychology Robert Hallock considers outreach a necessary component of behavioral science learning.
“I stress community outreach,” he said. “So I required students in the class to form small groups based on their interest, perform literature research and then apply what they learned by presenting to a target audience.”
Student presentation topics ran the gamut of taste and smell, problems with loud music and benefits of sleep to brain parts, effects of drugs on the brain, concussions, and benefits and consequences of caffeine. Audiences ranged from 3 and 4-year-olds to patients of a drug rehabilitation ward.
During the “Brain Parts” presentation to kindergarteners of the university’s Riley Child Center, student presenters Ashley Rhein and Anne Lindeman engaged the youngsters in a game of Pin the Spinal Cord on the Brain Stem.
“The presentations had to be age appropriate and incorporate what we examined in class,” Hallock said. “I would say it turned out to be a meaningful experience, both for the students and their audience.”