2017 Recap: Duke University

Throughout the past year, Duke Synapse had both ongoing events and an annual capstone event.

Duke Splash is a student run event that occurs bi-annually. This is a student-run event in which Duke students teach a course to local middle school and high school students. Last spring, they taught a course covering the neural mechanisms of auditory and visual stimuli. Students learned about topics such as how auditory stimuli are converted to electrical impulses and the theories behind optical illusions.

Another off- campus activity included Threshold Clubhouse in Durham, NC. This activity was dedicated to helping adults with mental illness through supporting them in their work, advancing their education, and reaching their personal goals. On a weekly basis, they volunteered at the clubhouse and worked side-by-side with developing a weekly video recap in which members discussed a topic of their choice, such as sports and weather.

Finally, The Synapse Dinner series connected Duke undergraduates and faculty in Biology, Neuroscience, Psychology, and other departments. Occurring 4-5 times a semester, each dinner was a chance for students to socialize with faculty. Participating faculty included Dr. Kevin LaBar, who teaches the introductory cognitive neuroscience course, and Dr. Leonard White, who is the Director of Education for the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

In addition to these ongoing events, each year, Synapse participates in the FEMMES (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and Science) capstone, leading elementary and middle school students in exciting brain and perception activities to help them better appreciate the wonders of the mind. Capstone is their annual, one-day event, featuring a keynote speaker and STEM events.

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