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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Glendale Middle School students Kaeley Taylor and Nieanahi Lopez hold a human brain as part of Brain Awareness Week in Salt Lake City Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — Students at Glendale Middle School put their brains to work Tuesday — studying brains.

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The event was part of Brain Awareness Week, in which volunteers make presentations to 2,500 schoolchildren statewide. Students handle human brains to see firsthand how brains are damaged by injury or drugs. School activities stress the importance that nutrition and exercise have for brain function, wearing helmets to prevent head injury, and avoiding drugs.

Brain Awareness Week is part of a global campaign and is presented locally by the Utah Brain Education Alliance, which is a network of volunteers from the University of Utah, Weber State University and Brigham Young University. The event is sponsored by the Brain Institute at the University of Utah, Henry W. and Leslie M. Eskuche Charitable Foundation, Castle Foundation, Society for Neuroscience and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.