Undergraduate Education Program

University of Puget Sound

Siddarth Ramakrishnan
Tacoma, WA
December 2013

One important way to break the intimidation barrier to science and its methodologies is to make science more accessible and fun.  Using TED-style talks, community partnerships, NeuroArt workshops, and hands-on research experiences, University of Puget Sound will create a culture of neuroscience in our community.  While neuroscience is becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives with daily media blurbs, widespread misinformation exists regarding the brain and brain disorders.  Unfortunately, access to education and resources is restricted to research labs and institutions with little direct access for youth and the community at large.  The vision of this project is to cultivate an environment of neuroscience research education alongside continuous public dialog and engagement.  The team will expand its nascent neuroscience program and develop the new Initiative for NeuroCulture.  Existing neuroscience classes coupled with the strengths of the interdisciplinary faculty from biology, psychology, exercise science, occupational/physical therapy, computer science, philosophy, and bioethics will provide a foundation for the work.  New lab courses; novel curricular and research techniques; summer NeuroArt workshops with K-12 partners; and seminars, exhibitions, and blogs on issues of neuroethics, neural disorders, and consciousness will enhance student learning, train faculty, and engage the community.  The Initiative for NeuroCulture will bring together a wide range of faculty supported by local partnerships with the Tacoma Art Museum and the Science and Math Institute of the Tacoma Public Schools.

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