The Neuronautas are back! After a hiatus in 2020 thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the teaching staff of Neuronautas re-vamped the curriculum to make it possible to run the program entirely remotely.
This year, the Neuronautas program was embedded in a sci-fi story universe set in the distant future, when humans can travel across galaxies and research institutes float in bubbles through space. Portuguese youth could join the adventure as either a Neurocadete or a Chimera.
Neurocadetes spent a total of 3 weeks and 2 days completing the same curriculum that was originally designed for the 2019 edition of Neuronautas. The initial phase, called “build your Neuronautas goggles”, consisted of practical neuroscience and engineering exercises and discussions over video chat, supplemented by activities with a take-home Neuronautas kit that students worked on independently. The final phase, called “use your Neuronautas goggles”, was once again an opportunity for students to design, build, conduct, analyze, and present their own field neuroscience experiments.
Chimeras spent 2 weeks exploring a new curriculum that combined neurobiology with speculative science fiction storytelling. This version of the Neuronautas adventure spent the first week in a similar “build your Neuronautas goggles” phase, where students completed practical neuroscience and story-world-building exercises and discussions in collaboration with each other over video chat. The second week was also a “use your Neuronautas goggles” phase, in which students collaboratively improvised a science fiction story, through the format of table-top role playing and set in the story-world that they created during the first week.
To learn more, you can visit the Neuronautas 2021 showcase!