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Kids Judge OHSU Scientists During Unconventional Competition

   Portland, Ore.


Oregon Kids Judge! 2002 Neuroscience Fair


8:45 a.m. ­ 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13


OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland

Oregon Health & Science University is the main sponsor of an unconventional science fair where the tables are turned - scientists compete and kids judge. The Oregon Kids Judge! 2002 Neuroscience Fair pits approximately 70 neuroscientists against one another. Teams of scientists will make 12 different presentations, explaining how brain and nerve cells function. About 128 fourth-graders from the Portland area will judge the competition and proclaim a winner. The kid judges, students from the Portland Public Schools Indian Education Act Project, Ball Elementary School and Boones Ferry Primary School, will travel to Oregon Museum of Science Industry for the full-day event.

During their presentations, the scientists will go to great lengths to try and win judges high marks. For instance, researchers who study mice in order to understand the reasons for alcoholism and drug abuse, will present their exhibit dressed as mice. During another presentation on brain function, kids will don swim caps that look like brains. Scientists will then color different parts of the brain as they explain how each area works. Kids also will get a chance to view real human brains close up. Additional exhibits will demonstrate how the brain perceives smell, vision, balance and sound.

In addition to acting as judges for the science competition, the kid-judges will have a chance to tour OMSI's "Brain: The World Inside Your Head: A New Exhibit." The interactive, hands-on, traveling exhibit is open to the public through May 5.

The Kids Judge! fair event is one of a series of family activities leading up to Brain Awareness Week 2002, March 9 - 16 at OMSI. For information on this season's events, visit

The OHSU School of Medicine¹s Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and the National Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fairs Partnership organized the Kids Judge! fair. Additional partners include the Portland Alcohol Research Center, OMSI, the Oregon Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and BEEMNET Inc. The event was funded by a Science Education Drug Abuse Partnership Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

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