High schoolers dissect sheep brains

Ryne DiPerna

Shawn Love and Charles Bailey, sophomore students in high school, carefully cut into a sheep brain yesterday as part of a program put on by Upward Bound.

Credit: DKS Editors

Students from Kent State’s Upward Bound program celebrated Brain Awareness Month last night by dissecting sheep’s brains in Cunningham Hall.

The program, which helps students from area high schools adjust to college life, partnered with Kent State’s Science Learning Community for a unique experience.

“It’s a twofold purpose,” said Sean Veney, assistant professor in biological sciences. “The first is to educate the public about brain science, and the second is to ultimately get the public excited about brain science.”

Assisted by Kent State graduate students, Upward Bound members from Canton McKinley, Canton Timken and Warren G. Harding high schools compared parts of the sheep’s brain with other animals to better understand the complex intricacies of neuroscience research.

“It was fun seeing the inside of the cerebellum,” said Joe Lyle, a student at Canton Timken High School.

Uju Dike, graduate student in biology, said the students were excited to take part in the dissection.

Dana Lawless-Andric, associate director of the Pre-College-TRIO programs, stressed the importance of getting the students acclimated to college life with projects like this.

“Many of the students are the first in their families to go to college,” Lawless-Andric said. “We’re getting them ready for the college experience and getting them excited to be successful.”

Geraldine Hayes-Nelson, associate dean of undergraduate studies, agreed.

“It’s a pipeline,” she said, referring to the way the program incorporates students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. “It teaches (them) that learning takes place after 3:30.”

Contact student life reporter Ryne DiPerna at [email protected].