By Hallie Underwood, ’20, Dylan Carlson Sirvent, ’19

Scout Jibson and Sonya Sasmal are both majors in neuroscience at Ohio State University. They are both involved in the neuroscience department’s program focused on increasing high school students’ exposure to that field of study. 

Jibson’s brother suffers from the rare condition hydrocephalus, which is an excess of fluid in the brain and puts pressure on it. Since her childhood, she has been in and out of neurology offices, which inspired her to pursue neuroscience as a possible career.

Sasmal entered the world of medicine with less of an idea of what she wanted to pursue.

Sasmal spoke with her advisor, Charlie Campbell, and introduced her to the neuroscience program.

“I changed my major that day,” Sasmal said.

From going to lectures to helping to conduct research with graduate students and professors, Jibson and Sasmal continue to be inspired by a major that is always developing.

They both agree that teaching high school students about neuroscience through eye-vision goggles, by exposing them to real human organs and playing trivia games with them are the most effective ways of introducing them to the field of neuroscience.

“(The program) has done so much for us, so we want that to continue and we want other people to experience it too” Sasmal said.

“I like learning about the neuroscience major,” junior Grace Schooley said. “It was cool to see how it applies to what I’m learning in class.” Schooley attended the workshops during IB Psychology. 

The program has been around for about five years, according to OSU student coordinator Nick Salgia. The program focuses on increasing STEM outreach and learning within high schools in Central Ohio, but have also gone to Chicago and are planning to go to Washington D.C.

Jibson wants to make sure students know OSU’s neuroscience program is always more than happy to answer questions. She had never taken a psychology class in high school, so the studies were rather foreign to her.

“I’ve learned how to love learning. In high school, you’re forced to go to classes, but in college, you pick,” Jibson said.