Bright Sparks


Summary of our research findings at Bright Sparks

What is Bright Sparks?

Bright Sparks is a new event run by members of the Centre for Educational Neuroscience in London. It is a fantastic opportunity for children to find out more about the brain, while also taking part in real research.

What is the Centre for Educational Neuroscience?

The Centre for Educational Neuroscience (or CEN) is an organisation which brings together researchers from different backgrounds (such as psychology, education, and neuroscience) so they can share expertise and carry out research together.

What research will take place at Bright Sparks?

Researchers from Birkbeck, University College London, and the Institute of Education have put together an exciting programme of research activities. These will help us find out more about how we learn, and what things might influence our learning. The key themes for February’s event are spatial learning, executive functions, and attention.

The activities will be a mixture of computer-based tasks, quizzes and interactive games, and each will take between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. When children are not involved in testing, there are plenty of fun opportunities for them to learn more about the brain, through crafts and games in ‘The Hub’. At the end of the session, children will take home a small goody-bag.

Who can attend?

The sessions in February are suitable for children aged 5-11 years old. We hope to run similar events later in the year for other age groups.

When will it take place?

The sessions will take place in February half term, on Monday 13th February, Thursday 16th February, and Friday 17th February. Each session lasts 3 hours, and you can book either a morning (9.30am-12.30pm) or afternoon (1.00pm-4.00pm) time slot.

Where will the event be held?

The event will take place in the Psychology Department on the 5th floor at Birkbeck. Birkbeck is on Malet Street in London, WC1E 7HX. It is centrally located, between Goodge Street and Russell Square tube stations.

Parents and children should make their way to Birkbeck main entrance just before their session start time. They will be met by a member of the Bright Sparks team who will show them the way to the event.

How much will it cost?

The event is FREE to attend.

Do parents need to stay with their children?

There is no need for parents to remain with their children. When you arrive, we will give you some permission slips to complete before you depart, as well as some questionnaires which you can complete in your own time. We will have your mobile number in case we need to contact you during the session. We will provide a handy information sheet with details of cafés and places of interest in the local area so that you can make the most of your free time!

Any other important information?

All the researchers and helpers have been DBS checked and there will be a high ratio of children to adults. All the research activities have been passed by an Ethics Committee, which means that they are suitable for children to complete.

This sounds great!

How do I sign up?

Visit to reserve your place.
Hurry – places are limited!