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A new workshop aimed at young people to inspire them to learn more about the science of the brain has been designed as part of a large Wellcome funded research programme.

Image shows an inflatable brain for children to go in.
Teenage Brain workshop, 2020 © University of Oxford

MYRIAD (My resilience in adolescence) is a research project looking at how schools promote young people’s wellbeing and resilience, the ability to adapt in the face of difficulties, throughout adolescence.

84 schools across the country are taking part in the MYRIAD Project. Researchers are exploring how schools prepare young people to manage their emotional health and improve resilience. At the heart of this is understanding the great changes and challenges that occur in adolescence. Learning skills that build resilience has the potential to help adolescents navigate these challenges during their time at school and build a strong base to help them throughout their lives.

Researchers from the MYRIAD programme based at the University of Oxford recently took their flagship workshop - The Teenage Brain - to a local Oxfordshire school. 

Students investigated how their brains are different from those of children and adults. Working directly with researchers they learned more about the brain and how it develops during adolescence and took part in experiments that researchers use to study the teenage brain.



So little is actually known about the development of the human brain in this important period of life. 


Informed by the latest research into the mysterious working of the adolescence brain this interactive workshop opens up conversations about what is really happening during adolescence.




Students explored:

  • Risk taking
  • Focus and attention
  • Decision making
  • Abilities to delay rewards 
  • Neuroscience of the teenage brain
  • Opportunities to meet researchers and find out more about the work they do

A highlight of the day was a guided tour around a giant inflatable human brain. Students could see the areas that are undergoing the most changes during adolescence and start to understand how this affects emotional and behavioural regulation.




It has been wonderful to see our students engaging with the researchers and their own good to see young people so enthusiastic whilst taking part in the different activities. - Feedback from teaching staff at the school.


56 students attended this workshop and over 800 students across the UK have already attended earlier workshops.

The team's public engagement work is part of the larger MYRIAD Research Project.



Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.