The Big Brain Experiment

5 Mini-Missions into the Mind

Explore remarkable parts of the brain with fun and engaging experiments for the whole class.

(And you don’t need a degree in Psychology or Neuroscience to be involved!)



How good is your memory? This experiment not only tests memory and recall, but also provides ways to improve your memory and see how effective it is


To test if using a mnemonic will improve short (and maybe long) term memory for recalling random items.


Videos (2) of 20 items to be remembered (below) or 2 sets of 20 items to be memorised in the classroom.

Approximate time needed:

Students only have 1 minute to memorise objects, plus a little time before to explain the task and 5 minutes sometime later in the day to test recall. Then the process is repeated with the second set of objects and a mnemonic to hopefully help.

Downloadable Teacher PDF resource:

Experiment summary, Video item lists and Recall tables

Video One – The Experiment

Video Two – The Science

Video Three –  Teacher Tips

Video Four –  20 Objects in 60 Seconds, control group (do this one first).

Video Five –  20 Objects in 60 Seconds, with a mnemonic (do this later, to compare)

And a special thanks to…

Assoc. Prof. Tasha Stanton (University of SA) for her enthusiasm, help and generally being a guru on all things about the brain and pain.

National Science Week

If you only do some science once a year, that is still better than not doing it. So get stuck in and find out what your brain has to offer.

Inspo from U of W

The University of Washington has an old, but great web resource – Neuroscience for Kids. It was a great inspiration for the Big Brain Experiments.

University of Washington seal

The Big Brain Experiment is being run by Dr Rob and Experimentary, because we love science (you’re welcome).