The brain is complex—it controls human thought and processes, and uses twenty percent of the blood in one’s body. Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the human brain. While the Ontario high school curriculum barely touches upon such topics, a large number of MGCI students have already begun learning about this fascinating field.

IND executives present a neuroscience lecture at their meeting. Photo: Sophia Liu

The MGCI Initiative for Neuroscience and Dementia (IND) educates its members on the science of the human brain and the degenerative diseases that could affect it. Meeting every Friday during lunch in Room 331, the group of students commit their time to learning about the science of the brain and fundraising for neurological research.

IND also prepares its members for the University of Toronto Brain Bee Competition, which is a knowledge-based competition focused on neuroscience. Held annually, this high-school contest offers summer lab placements at the university to the top-achieving student(s). To prepare for this event, members receive lessons each week, learning the curriculum found in two neuroscience textbooks during each meeting. Club President Arani Kulamurugan says that “IND is looking towards holding a brain dissection to give students a hands-on experience to help them better their understanding of the brain.”

The 2017 Brain Bee will be the third Brain Bee the club competes in. Arani says that the executive team hopes to have more people place this year, as last year the club had one member place in the top 10.

The club participates in various fundraising events within the school and community, such as school bake sales, and also raises awareness for neurological disorders through events.

The original IND club was established in 2011 by a Marc Garneau student who wanted to raise awareness for neurological diseases and the field’s research. Its pillars of volunteerism and leadership in youth have led to the success of  IND chapters at eight other Canadian high schools.