addie-greene-web.jpgJUPITER – The Max Planck Florida Institute is celebrating the opening of its new researach facility in Jupiter by hosting a Neuroscience Discovery Day on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will provide taxpayers’ next glimpse at how they might benefit from the financial investment in the first Institute established in the United States by the German-based Max Planck Society.

In 2006, then Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie Greene’s was the deciding vote to place the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter rather than the controversial Mecca Farms site in The Acreage.

The $500 million state-and-county deal – pushed by then-Gov. Jeb Bush – to lure La Jolla, Calif.-based Scripps to Florida, was promoted to taxpayers as the initial investment in a biotech boom.

In 2008 county commissioners approved another $87 million to build and operate the Max Planck Florida Institute, with the state allocating another $94 million.

The Neuroscience Discovery Day offers one glimpse of how well the biotech promised is being fulfilled. The event schedule includes activities for all ages, such as lectures by Max Planck scientists, tours of the 100,000 square-foot facility, a Careers in Science panel discussion, scientific experiments and interactive activities, an Images of Science exhibit, neuron face painting and balloon art.

County high school students have prepared for two competitions in conjunction with the event. Students in grades 9-12 are submitting projects for the Neuroscience Inspires Art contest, focused on of how people use their brains to process sensory information. For the Battle of the Brains, students in grades 9-12 are submitting informational posters, with each student judged on a 5-minute oral presentation on topics such as how stress affects the brain and why certain drugs are addictive. All submitted projects and posters will be on display.

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