Saturday, June 2, 2012

In addition to writing, this past week I researched how the teen brain is different from the adult brain.  Faced with the same situation, a teen will take risks, but an adult will not.  I found this National Geographic article about a study of teen risk taking, called Beautiful Brains, really helpful.  Here's the bottom line:

"So if teens think as well as adults do and recognize risk just as well, why do they take more chances? Here, as elsewhere, the problem lies less in what teens lack compared with adults than in what they have more of. Teens take more risks not because they don't understand the dangers but because they weigh risk versus reward differently: In situations where risk can get them something they want, they value the reward more heavily than adults do."

This explains why I knew better, but I still took a ride home with a stranger after track practice in high school.  I was walking home exhausted after running the mile, 2 mile and a relay in a track meet.   Thankfully, nothing bad happened.  

The brain is a fascinating organ.  Vanderbilt University in Tennessee has a new doctoral program for educational neuroscience.  It combines the field of education with studies of the brain.   Neuroscience research is quite interesting.  It's giving us new understanding on how we learn.  Educating children is what writing nonfiction is all about.  In the wrong hands, that research could be used in a negative manner.   

In other news, I spent the week working on a new article fashioned from the scraps of a completed article.   Also, I put together proposals for two classes (one is about jellyfish) for kids at the brand new Vernon Community Arts Center.  Hopefully, they will be accepted and that enough students will sign up so the class will run.

These photographs are moon jellies at Mystic Aquarium.

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