The Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience offers a variety of teaching practicums, which are not required for the major but allow students to gain real experience working with kids, while earning credits.
Making Neuroscience Fun
Making Neuroscience Fun (MNF) is a 1-credit S/U practicum and community outreach program that brings age-appropriate interactive presentations about the brain and nervous system to Baltimore city and county elementary school students. MNF is an effort aimed at fostering appreciation for science in general, emphasizing the importance of the brain and the nervous system in everyday life, and enhancing the science curriculum in Baltimore’s city and county schools.
Students will receive initial training prior to participating and then will select and present six, 45-minute presentations. To participate, students must be available either 7 a.m.-11 a.m. or 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at least one day per week, Monday-Friday. Students must attend a mandatory orientation, training, and exit session at the beginning and end of the semester that will be held on campus. Presentations will take place at Baltimore city and county elementary schools. Transportation to the schools will be via student carpools using Zipcars or personal vehicles.
KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now)
KEEN Greater DC is a non-profit, volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. KEEN’s mission is to foster the self-esteem, confidence, skills, and talents of its athletes through non-competitive activities, allowing young people facing even the most significant challenges to meet their individual goals.
KEEN is a 1-credit S/U practicum, organized by the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program Committee. This practicum provides the opportunity to learn and interact with child “athletes” who have neurological disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, through exercise and recreational activities. Students “coaches” will receive a profile for the KEEN athlete that they will be paired with during a session.
Students will receive initial training and then select four sessions to attend to fulfill the 1-credit requirement. Sessions are held on the first and third Sunday of each month during the semester. Students must attend a mandatory orientation and exit session at the beginning and end of the semester that will be held on campus. Sessions will take place at KEEN centers in Maryland. Transportation will be via student carpools using Zipcars, personal vehicles, or Hop Vans.
Register for AS.080.401 in SIS.
Practicum in Language Disorders
Aphasia is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control language, which affects a person’s ability to use or comprehend spoken and written words. Although aphasia affects a person’s ability to communicate, it does not affect their intellect. It can occur as a result of a head trauma, tumor, or, in most cases, a stroke (one third of all stroke survivors are diagnosed with aphasia).
In this practicum, students will receive training in supportive communication techniques and work as a communication partner with an individual with aphasia for two hours per week at the Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement.
The mission of the Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement is to improve the quality of life for people living with aphasia and their families by providing individuals with a place to connect and by offering interactive group activities designed to support and empower members as they re-engage with the community.
Prerequisites: Students with a junior or senior status. Students must have taken and earned an A- or above in 080.203, 050.203, 050.105, or 050.311. A minimum major GPA of 3.5 is required.
Three class meetings for orientation and reading assignments will be held on campus; training and practicum will be conducted at a local aphasia support center, the Snyder Center for Aphasia Life Enhancement. Transportation required.
Register for AS.080.400 in SIS.
HopKids: Kennedy Krieger
This course provides the opportunity to learn and interact with children recovering from brain, spinal, and musculoskeletal injuries. You will travel to the Kennedy Krieger Institute to volunteer in the Child Life Department where you will participate in a variety of therapeutic activities including playing with the children and helping them achieve goals. Students will gain valuable clinical experience while learning patient empathy. No credits or grade are awarded. Students will gain valuable clinical experience while learning patient empathy.
Students attend on select Saturdays from 3-5 p.m.
Register for AS.080.610 in SIS.
HopKids: Children’s Center
This practicum provides students the opportunity to learn, play, and interact with children receiving treatment in over 20 different specialties including dermatology, endocrine, GI, immunology, urology, plastics, and hematology. Students will volunteer in outpatient clinics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center where they will encourage and provide play and participate in a variety of activities including art projects, coloring, board games, and reading. Students will gain valuable clinical experience and be exposed to a wide range of children with a variety of diseases/illnesses.
This practicum has the option for variable credits: 1 credit equals 5 shifts, 2 credits equals 10 shifts and 3 credits equals 15 shifts. Shifts are Mondays 1 p.m.-3 p.m., Tuesdays 10 a.m.-noon, Wednesdays 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m.-noon throughout the semester. Students will sign up for shifts on a first-come, first-serve basis after the mandatory orientation. There is a maximum limit of how many students may sign up per day. Students must attend a mandatory orientation and exit session at the beginning and end of the semester that will be held on campus. Volunteer shifts will take place at outpatient clinics in the Rubenstein Child Health Building. Transportation will be provided by the JHMI shuttle.
Register for AS.080.404 in SIS.