The Amazing Brain Carnival is an immersive event that invites the public to learn about the inner workings of the brain.

ABC is held at the Saint Louis Science Center’s SciFest. Volunteers from Washington University give hands-on demonstrations that illuminate the basic functions of our nervous system–from sensation to cognition.

Interested in volunteering?

We are having the 2nd in-person neuroscience outreach event of the year at the St. Louis Science Center – SciFest: Engineering Expo on Saturday, February 25, 2023 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

SciFest is a free public event at the Science Center that hosts scientists, engineers and STEM professionals that share how they apply scientific concepts in their work and hobbies. The Amazing Brain Carnival from WashU sets up demos at SciFest to share neuroscience with the public. 

Sign up to volunteer here by Friday, February 16, 2023 to give one of the classic ABC demos or develop and present your own! You need not be doing neuroscience to present or develop a demo. You can also be involved in the preparation of banners with witty and inviting titles for each demo, in addition to or instead of volunteering at SciFest. Supplies and templates for painting the titles on paper will be provided but you can also bring your own and feel free to create in your own style. 

New volunteers will need to do a brief training on communication with the public on Friday, February 17, 2023 from 5:30 to 6: 15 pm (an additional testing day will be needed for those preparing a new demo). 

For further information and questions, please reach out to Apoorva ( or Katie (

SciFest: Play and Creativity was a huge success!

Volunteers from Washington University, led by graduate students Katie Lefton and Kayla Hannon, put together the Amazing Brain Carnival at the Science Center’s SciFest on Saturday, August 13, 2022. Toddlers to seniors and everyone in between stopped by the demos to enjoy the taste (or lack thereof) of jellybeans, touch their nose while their funny bone was vibrated, look at their muscle activity chart, learn about cancer-causing mutations and amuse themselves at the various demos at the carnival. Prism goggles and the Stroop effect–in which color words are printed in colors not matching the word–messed with visitors’ senses. The adults marveled at being able to touch an actual human brain while the kids got hooked on winning the learning and memory board game.

  • Graduate student Marlene Campos Guerrero speaks with a visitor at the DNA mutations puzzle.
  • Volunteers and attendees gather around demonstration tables at Scifest: Play and Creativity.