On October 16 and 17, Brain Research New Zealand’s Being Brainy programme was invited to be part of Mātai’s Brain and Heart Day at the Poverty Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Show.
The A&P Show is the biggest event in the Gisborne region, attracting an audience of 16-17 thousand people over two days. As part of the event, the newly established Mātai research centre in Tairāwhiti (Gisborne) held a Brain and Heart Day to reach out to the community, build awareness around brain and heart health issues, inform the public about the support available, and inspire local tamariki to get involved and learn more.
Supported by Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ), our Being Brainy programme provided engaging activities for the younger visitors. A group of five BRNZ volunteers travelled to Gisborne to run a set of experiments for children and talk to the local community about brain health and the work we do at Brain Research New Zealand.
We spoke to countless tamariki and their parents over the weekend, sharing our passion for the brain and hopefully sparking their interest as well. The Brain Health Research Centre and the Centre for Brain Research provided a giant inflatable brain for us to display in front of our tent – it certainly helped draw people in and formed a nice ensemble with the giant inflatable colon in front of our neighbour’s tent!
We also got the chance to forge connections with researchers and staff from Mātai, as well as other organisations participating in the event, such as the House of Science, the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, and more.
It was a very successful event – the icing on the cake was winning the “Best Site in Show” award. To keep the momentum going, Brain Research New Zealand is now reaching out to local schools to try and bring the Being Brainy programme to more tamariki of Tairāwhiti. In 2021, we hope to team up with again Mātai for next year’s event.