Medical Museum to focus on the brain March 16-20

SILVER SPRING, Md. - The National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) will host middle school students from around the Washington, D.C. area as part of its annual Brain Awareness Week (BAW). The event, now in its 16th year, will be held at NMHM in Silver Spring, Maryland, March 16-20.

"Brain Awareness Week provides a unique opportunity for middle school students to interact one-on-one with area neuroscientists," said Andrea Schierkolk, NMHM public program manager. "Hopes are that this program will provide inspiration for the next generation of scientists."

BAW at NMHM is one of the museum's core efforts to support Department of Defense STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce development priorities. The BAW program is also closely aligned with performance expectations for middle school students as described in the Next Generation Science Standards promulgated by the National Academy of Sciences.

NMHM's Brain Awareness Week activities take place over the course of five days. Each day, after a brief introductory talk, students rotate through hands-on activity stations to learn about different brain functions, influences on the brain and brain disorders.

In May 2012, NMHM unveiled an exhibit that focuses on traumatic brain injuries. It showcases actual human brain specimens that demonstrate a variety of brain injuries, including hemorrhages, blunt force trauma and bullet wounds. Included in the exhibit are medical and surgical tools used to diagnose and treat TBIs, as well as devices such as video games and acupuncture needles used in the rehabilitation of patients with brain injuries. NMHM is home to one of the world's most comprehensive neuroanatomical collections.

Media representatives are invited to cover Brain Awareness Week activities. Advance notice is required. For more information, contact Paul Bello, NMHM public affairs specialist, at (301) 319-3313. BAW programs are not open to the public.

Activity stations are managed by NMHM's Partners in Education (listed below).

NMHM Partners in Education for the 2015 Brain Awareness Week:

About the National Museum of Health and Medicine:

The National Museum of Health and Medicine, a Department of Defense museum established in 1862 as the Army Medical Museum, inspires interest in and promotes the understanding of medicine— past, present and future— with a special emphasis on tri-service American military medicine. As a National Historic Landmark recognized for its ongoing value to the health of the military and to the nation, NMHM identifies, collects, and preserves important and unique resources to support a broad agenda of innovative exhibits, educational programs, and scientific, historical, and medical research. NMHM is an element of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command headquartered at Fort Detrick, Md.

NMHM is located at 2500 Linden Lane, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, and is open daily (including weekends and holidays) from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit the website or call (301) 319-3300 for information on tour programs and special events.

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