Institute News

Summer school opens insight into neuro-research

Bonn, 20 July, 2020. caesar's public lab has been in existence since mid-2019. Young researchers can explore the world of neuroethology, a discipline that combines behavioral research and neurobiology. In exciting experiments, they gain insights into the processes by which the brain controls behavior. Unfortunately, due to social distancing measures, student visits to caesar have been halted. To address this, Public Outreach Officer Julia Fischer developed a new concept, getting students interested in the neurosciences even in times of the pandemic.

In the course "Neurobiology, Behavioural Research & Genetics meet", students from grades 10 to 11 learn about various aspects of neuroethology and can also experiment on their own. The online class is supported by the Regional Education Office of the Rhein-Sieg district, via the initiative "Future through Innovation".

The course features the behavior of the zebrafish. This tropical freshwater fish is a popular model organism for neuro-research. The four-day program opens with basic knowledge on nerve cells and the brain. In the experimental section, the students discover through videos not only the developmental stages of the fish larvae, but also study the escape behavior of certain zebrafish mutants. Via mail, they also receive a small kit that can be assembled into a neural circuit. Questions about career choice are also addressed: the students have the opportunity to speak with caesar employees about the path into neuroscience, be it through vocational training or studying at an university.

Even after the end of the restrictions, the online course is scheduled to stay. An expansion is already in the works, in the shape of a "neuro-escape room". You can find out more about caesar’s outreach spectrum at www.caesar.de. Additional information and bookings are available at outreach@caesar.de. There are still places available for the course from 03 - 06 August 2020.

Sebastian Scherrer / caesar

Julia Fischer is the caesar public outreach officer since January 2020.