The trainees in the NIDA T32 Addiction Research Training Program will take part in various outreach events over the course of their training. Their experiences in the community as well as opportunities for service will be provided here.
T32 M.D./Ph.D. trainee Brad Martins and his mentor, Andrew James, Ph.D., of the UAMS Brain Imaging Research Center participated in the annual Brain Awareness Week activities hosted by the Arkansas Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. The even was held on April 17, 2017 at the Little Rock Museum of Discovery. Entitled “Looking Inside the Brain,” this hands-on child-friendly exhibit offered many educational activities describing the shapes and structures of the brain.
Visitors could sculpt brains out of clay, use an EEG headset to navigate a marble through a maze, or apply a temporary brain tattoo. Children also received youth-oriented educational materials from NIDA on the consequences of drug abuse. Adults received informative flyers about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research conducted at UAMS, while children learned how MRIs work from a display using magnets and iron filings. The exhibit was well received, with 30-40 children interacting with the booth activities. While younger children preferred brain sculpting and older children preferred playing with the EEG-based marble maze, almost every child (and many parents) wanted a brain tattoo.