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150 Students To Get Hands-On Learning on Friday at Cedars-Sinai’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute

In his State of the Union address this past Tuesday, President Bush vowed to help revive math and science education. Tomorrow, 150 seventh- and eighth-grade students from Los Angeles area schools will attend the eighth annual "Brainworks" program hosted by the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. The students will participate in many activities designed to show that science can be fun and scientific endeavors can be highly rewarding. In addition, they will be able to meet Tamiko Nash, Miss California – when they're not inspecting a sheep brain or learning how surgical instruments work.

Los Angeles - Feb. 2, 2006 - It is time for the annual "Brainworks" program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, and this year's participants – about 150 seventh- and eighth-grade students from Los Angeles area schools – will have an opportunity to learn about science and meet Tamiko Nash, Miss California.

Brainworks will take place from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3 in Cedars-Sinai's Harvey Morse Auditorium. In addition to participating in several group activities, the students will visit hands-on stations, including:

  • Surgical Station – with a surgical microscope, 3-D imaging and phantom skull for virtual surgery.
  • Neuropathology Station – with a real sheep brain and microscope slides of various types of tumors.
  • Vital Signs Station – students will have their vital signs taken and learn how these are used.
  • Surgical Instruments Station – with actual instruments used in the operating room and explanations about how they work.
  • Poster Stations – with presentations by Institute researchers.
  • Photo Station – student will have a souvenir photo taken with Keith Black, MD, neurosurgeon and Institute director.

Black, who published his first research paper at age 17, established Brainworks to stimulate scientific interest in today's students and help steer them toward scientific endeavors that will benefit humanity. He and Brainworks organizers hope the students, many of whom come from disadvantaged communities, will realize that careers in science and medicine can be within their reach.

Teachers at schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and at several independent schools select the students who are invited to attend, and the Institute assumes all costs and provides a complimentary lunch.