Samuel Merritt College Students Help Kids Learn About the Power of the Brain
OAKLAND, Calif., December 11, 2008 - To improve learning outcomes in life science, national and state education departments are recommending schools to include various science topics, like neuroscience, in their classrooms. However recent studies show the limited exposure to neuroscience for children may be due in part to a teacher's lack of training and expertise in the subject.
More than three dozen occupational therapy students from Samuel Merritt College (SMC) will be interacting with 160 third, fourth and fifth graders from Cleveland Elementary School, on Friday, December 12. The goal is to help young children learn more about the importance and function of the brain.
This unique program, `Brain Awareness,' is an interactive program designed by Dr. Barb Puder, Assistant Professor of Basic Sciences at SMC to introduce students and teachers about the nervous system. The program reinforces the curricular emphasis required by the Oakland Unified School District.
“The limited exposure to neuroscience for children may be due in part to a teacher's lack of training on the subject,” says Dr. Puder. “This lack of information may result in some children making unhealthy choices which affect their brain health and safety.”
To help spark the children's interest about the brain, the occupational therapy students will create several hands-on activity stations which include a human brain station, games and activities.
“The program will expose the young students to new experiences and enhance their learning about the organ system,” says Cleveland Elementary School Principal Mia Settles. “It will also instill some responsibility and ownership for the kids.”
The Brain Awareness program is also designed to help youth develop skills in life science.
“This is fun and age appropriate way to offer students a chance to learn life skills outside of the classroom,” says Dr. Puder. “By increasing their awareness about the brain, students, teachers and community members may prevent unnecessary brain damage and injury and incorporate behaviors which promote brain health into their lifestyle.”
About Samuel Merritt College
Samuel Merritt College, founded in 1909, has been educating health professionals for nearly 100 years. The college offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and podiatric medicine. Samuel Merritt College is an affiliate of Sutter Health and Alta Bates-Summit Medical Center. For more information, please visit www.samuelmerritt.edu.
About Sutter Health
Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, hospitals and other health care service providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Organization. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health family, please visit www.sutterhealth.org.
Samuel Merritt College Contact
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(510) 725-7980 cell
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