Sitting outside the school at

3:45 in the morning, I could practically taste the anticipation in the air, along with the strong smell of caffeine from dozens of cups of coffee in an attempt to keep everyone awake. I was so nervous, even though I’ve been to the Boston Museum of Science plenty of times before. Our group of 29 recommended science students and six parent chaperones, directed by Mrs. Duguay and Mr. Bilodeau, loaded excitedly into the waiting bus, completely ready for the trip ahead of us.

We were not only getting ready to go to the Boston Museum of Science, but also to see Wired to Win in the Mugar Omni Theater. If you’ve ever been to the Omni Theater, you know what it’s like, but if you haven’t yet been, here is a brief overview. The Mugar Omni Theater is basically a huge movie theater, with a sphere like projection screen that expands beyond your peripheral vision! If that’s not exciting, then maybe some of the other shows will get you interested. When we received our itinerary, there was a list of different shows and exhibits we could see before and after seeing Wired to Win. We quickly checked off programs that we might enjoy visiting and compared them with the others in our groups of four.

To prepare for the trip, many students made note shares, or computerized notebooks, and we reviewed many books about the brain, for example, “Brain Rules.” One interesting fact from this book was that exercising helps you learn! All of a sudden, thousands of questions popped into my head, and hands shot up all around the room. How could this be? Why would that happen? Well, as it turns out, this is because when you exercise, it releases glucose into your brain! Now, look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t want to learn more about the brain. Another fact that got me excited was that, when you feel tired, that’s just your mind telling you that, it’s all in your brain! There were so many books and pamphlets and packets that had piled up on the many desks in Mrs. Duguay’s room. Of course, we never read the books cover to cover, but we would skim through them and have group discussions and debates about the content and facts in them.

There were lots of students who made it a priority to come to Mrs. Duguay”s room during SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) and even during study halls. It was very hard for some kids, though, including myself, to come into her room, competing with band and chorus during SSR’s. But exploring the world of science and the brain was never a burden I wish I could be rid of. It is something so exciting, so interesting, that all of us became instantly immersed in this.

There were so many questions that we all had about our trip, the criteria, what we should bring, who else is going? One question Mrs. Duguay asked us was this, what are the qualities you need to succeed in the research field? We decided that they must have these skills; patience, determination, drive, the ability to be wrong, organized, focused, self-directed, a people person with good communication, good math and analyzing skills, problem solvers, desire to learn, the ability to enjoy doing lab experiments, innovative, persevering, common sense, self-discipline, and being able to believe in your self.

Mrs. Duguay has informed us that we could choose a specific topic of interest within the brain science field, and continue to learn more about that. I, for one, am very intrigued with how memory works. How can, in one person, a moment in time will stay printed in your brain for a lifetime, yet in another human, it can be ripped away as soon as it happens? Other fields may include how pain works, or how you can exercise your brain? Whatever it is, I’m positive that all of the students that went will find something to dig deeper with.

The field of brain science is so interesting and has such a depth about it that I’m not sure if we, as human beings, will ever discover the full mystery of the brain. It is hard to think of all the medicines that have been discovered, and the diseases that have finally claimed a name in the last few decades. It’s so exciting to think of what may be discovered in the next 10 years, or even after I’m gone! It seems that every layer, every crinkle, holds a thousand secrets waiting, to be told. The brain is just the tip of the iceberg in what modern science can do, just to think. This is what made us want to go on this trip, and this is what will continue to spark our interest. This is such a great kickoff to brain awareness week, what more in our trip could the brain tells us?

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