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NYC Grade Schoolers Learn The Ways Of The Brain At Annual Science Fair

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Some may think the heart is the most important organ in the human body, but a group of school kids learned it might actually be the brain.

As CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports, there are a multitude of reasons to choose the brain. Five of the top ten disease burdens worldwide are brain disorders; stroke, addiction, depression, Alzheimer's, and psychosis.

The Guggenheim Pavilion at Mt. Sinai was busier than usual, crowded with middle schoolers from PS 171 in Manhattan for the sixth annual Brain Awareness Fair. Each year it exposes young minds to the facts and mysteries of the human brain.

There was virtual reality neurosurgery and a big inflatable human brain that taught students important neuro-facts. Kids learned how nerves control muscles by electrically connecting one girl's arm to her friend's.

"Every time she'd move her arm my arm would move," she said. "If I moved my arm, her arm would move."

The idea is to partly expose kids to the wonders of the brain and also get them excited about science.

"Out kids are not often exposed to science in grade school," Icahn School of Medicine Dr. Eric Nestler said. "I'm a scientist, and still an excited kid. Not enough kids are exposed to that excitement."

It seems like the fifth graders got the message.

The brain fair is part of Brain Awareness Week, a global campaign to increase the public's knowledge of the progress and benefits of brain research.

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