Brainstorming with Science
On September 28th and 29th, our MLSI Grade 10 students had an opportunity to participate in an inter-school science camp, organized by Bombay International School, called, “Brainstorming with Science.” This was the fourth Brain Camp held in the city, with the objective of exposing High School Students to how scientists conduct research. The camp is a neuroscience camp, and the theme this year was Memory.
This was a one-of–a-kind opportunity which has specially been designed to introduce young minds to the neuroscience of memory which appealed to a range of students across disciplines like science, psychology and future technologies.
This year the programme focussed on deconstructing memory through various inter connected and converging disciplinary themes. Day 1 focussed on how memory is hard-wired in the brain, how it is both essential, but at the same time fallible, and the implications this might have for law and forensic science. Day 2 will focussed on the future of human memory and how it might face stiff competition from artificial intelligence. The program has been specially designed to engage students into thinking and understanding how cross-disciplinary knowledge operates in the real world.
The programme carefully selected an outstanding national and international faculty, experts in their own professions, to engage our students through interactive talks and by hands-on inquiry labs. The students performed dissections on rat and mouse brains to study the anatomy of the brain and also participated in a crime lab role playing forensic scientists using memory as a tool to solve crimes. To hear the views of a sitting high court judge on the influence of memory in the Indian legal system specifically and in jurisprudence in general was highly appreciated by the students.
This is what the teachers had to say:
Shivani Fotedar – Biology Teacher
The two days at Brain Camp really got our Grade 10 students thinking about the next frontiers in neuroscience. With the focus on memory, our students had a plethora of questions some of which were answered and some of which experts are still trying to find answers to. The exposure to the series of talks ranging from synaptic plasticity, the science of memory, biological and computational memory and the significance of memory in our judicial system gave our students the opportunity to realise how the education they get in schools today is applied, beyond the textbooks, out in the real world. They were amazed to see the extent of research done on the human brain and neurological disorders. They understood that science is about asking the right questions and not always having an answer.
Rohan Pillai – Psychology Teacher
Students had a good opportunity to gather first hand information regarding current perspectives and advancements in the fields of neurobiology, psychology and cognitive neuro-psychology. All the speakers presented their views on rather technical topics in their fields in a jovial and succinctly audience age group relevant and precise manner which helped to hold the students’ attention and interest over the span of two days. Students needs were well catered to and the program was valuable as a whole.
This is what the students had to say:
Kiera Thakkar – 10 Aster
The Brain Camp by BIS was a wonderful opportunity for Grade 10. We interacted with students from many different schools, and most importantly with some of the most qualified people. Before the camp, I knew almost nothing about how the Brain works, why do we remember things, what causes movements, working memory, AI etc. But after the Camp, I surely know more than I knew before.
Sanya Vora – 10 Aster
We got an opportunity to explore our brain and the complex functions it performs to shape us as who we are and were exposed to professionals in the field of neurobiology, computers and law. We learned about the human brain, the different parts and functions of our brain, our memory and should we be relying on our memory, and the use of brain and memory in different fields.
These 2 days we got a hands on experience of working memory and what our brain does. We were put to test in a forensic lab where we had to answer questions about what we saw or read in a particular crime scene, we also got to dissect a rat and a mouse brain which is very similar to the human brain as we are mammals. We also learned about AI and how we can make an AGI through studying the human brain.
Ahaan Brahmwar – 10 Aster
My experience at brain camp was very fun, informative and productive two days, Grade 10 and I not only got to bond as a class but we got to learn things our parents would only have learnt while in college, we got to see how our brain works and what happens where. We also had a very fun and funny session with Justice Gautam Patel of the Mumbai High Court as we learnt how our brain can forget things and recall things we might have learnt or seen a long time ago and place it in a particular situation.
We then learnt the anatomy and networks of memory revealed through hands-on dissection of a mouse and rat brain. Then got to participate as a forensic scientist in a Crime Lab. We also learnt about the evolutionary biological innovations that took place in building human brain networks of memory, from biology to technology. The Key differences between human and computer memory, The convergence of biological and computational memory to form hybrid bio-computational memory structures. We also got to see and learn how brain cells fire and send signals that carry memory. Then we also applied all of this in a working memory lab/test.
Overall, it was a fantastic two days where students got to meet and interact with other students from all over Mumbai and learn above and beyond the classroom.
Thanks to Ms. Seervai for giving us the opportunity and to Ms. Shivani and Mr. Rohan for being our chaperones. We look forward to more and more similar and diverse educational opportunities for our MLSI students.