"The Brain on Holidays” yearly event took place in Mikołajki, at the Research Station of the Nencki Institute. In the beautiful „Akwarialnia” hall, we entertained several dozen guests of all ages. We were visited by families with children, both summer visitors, and local residents of Mikołajki, Mrągowo, and surroundings. The youngest participants had the possibility to assimilate some knowledge about the brain, while coloring brain caps, and building brain models out of play dough. School-aged children played an educational board game, and could learn about the neural mechanisms of keeping the body in balance. Great attention was drawn to our visual illusion stand, that was lately developed and enriched in educational equipment. Here, we presented not only visual tricks that the brain plays on us, but a solid piece of knowledge concerning visual system functioning was also delivered. Visitors spent quite some time with microscopes, observing various neural cell types, and learning how the ischemic insult, or glioma cancer, looked in the brain. We also showed the phenomenon of fluorescence, and explained how it could be used to study brain anatomy. For those who wanted to try their hand at molecular biology, we prepared a mini-laboratory, where one could isolate DNA with one’s own hands. Last but not least, the children could play with a rope model of a neuron, learning the basics of neuron physiology. All the educational stalls were organized by PhD students, and employees of the Nencki Institute, who spent a lot of time preparing new attractions for visitors.
The list of Organizers (in alphabetical order): Joanna Czarnecka-Herok, Piotr Dźwiniel, Marcin Herok, Barbara Juraszek, Anna Kozak, Agnieszka Łukomska, Karolina Nizińska, Dorota Nowicka, Ida Raciborska, Aleksandra Różycka, Aleksandra Stępniak, Kinga Szydłowska. Special thanks to Ms Irena Sawicka, and dr Tomasz Janecki, who organized the event on site.