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Not for publication March 17, 1999 -- No. 189


9 a.m. Friday, March 19

Dana Campbell’s third-grade classroom
Carrboro Elementary School
Shelton Street, Carrboro

UNC-CH neuroscientist takes human brains to Triangle-area elementary school classroom

Dr. Gary Duncan, a research scientist at the UNC Neuroscience Center and research associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department of psychiatry, will take human brains to Dana Campbell’s third-grade classroom at Carrboro Elementary School on Friday, March 19, at 9 a.m.

Duncan recently received a Science Educator Partnership Award, valued at $200,000 a year for three years, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The grant encourages researchers and teachers to work together to develop educational resources in science.

Duncan says human brains help excite young students about science. Because the brains -- provided by the UNC-CH School of Medicine -- are stored in water, not formaldehyde, Duncan can remove them from their jars and possibly allow children, wearing gloves, to handle them.

Duncan, who has taken brains to school "show and tell" programs for about nine years, began visiting the classrooms of his own three children, now ages 9-16. The new grant will allow him to extend what was "show and tell" into a formatted science program.

Duncan plans to develop a series of activities that incorporate artistic expression with the teaching of science. He will incorporate art by building model brains and drawing pictures of brains with the children, and plans to use music and dance to illustrate chemical and biological concepts.

Duncan will visit Campbell’s class for a one-time workshop. Her class will not be a regular part of his instructional program.

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