The Learning Brain

The Learning Brain

The Learning Brain: How can we nurture healthy brain development during adolescence to create the best possible conditions for learning?

Lead Partner: Faith Hester-Reyes

Description: Science

The human brain remains an unsolved mystery in science. Technology now allows scientists to take pictures of the billions of cells that make up the brain and to see when the cells are working and how the cells change. “Scientists used to think that human brain development was pretty complete by age 10, that a teenage brain was just an adult brain with fewer miles on it.” How does the brain change during adolescence? What does the teenage brain need to grow and thrive? While there is much we do not know about the brain, some things are increasingly clear. High school is an essential time for brain development influenced by sleep, stress, and many other factors. The experiences a teen has shapes their adult brain for life. What can teenagers do (and what can they avoid) to strengthen their brains as students, athletes, and community members? How can we use current research to make school more brain friendly?

Career Pathways: This challenge will appeal to students interested in career fields such as education, psychology, neuroscience, and public policy.