Roselyne CHAUVIN

OCEANA – Logbook – conference

Kids have the mic!

Kids of year 7 succeeded in their challenge: to give a talk in a auditorium with 150 persons in the audience, at AgroParisTech engineering school in Paris. The topic of the talk what: how the brain work, how to optimize learning?


All gathered by groups of 2 or 3, talking about content of the OCEANA program, they had picked their subtopic:


  • the brain, identity card,
  • What we don’t see with our eyes:
    • neurons and
    • glials cells,
  • the brain, this complex organ, how it works?
    • neurons get connected
    • neuronal path are created
    • nothing is fixed, the brain is plastic and we can learn all lifespan,
  • the brain, functioning:
    • multiples brain lobes and functions,
    • what regions of the brain are used when we want to cross the street?
  • the brain memorize, the brain learn: how to help memory? how to optimize it?
  • We need messenger, the 5 sense: student are testing perception with the audience. Can we treat information if the vision is blur?
  • We need to reactivate perceived information: children played the “kim game” with the audience,
  • At the end, children ask to the audience what they learned about the brain. Do to that, they use a “memory game” to challenge the audience memory, we learn only if we don’t have “stress, fear …” and when we are active in the learning process.


Well done kids!


Each of the group created a tool to illustrate the message that they wanted to give: model, film, comic, card game …

Bravo! again to the kids that elicited curiosity, involvement and participation from the audience. The feedack that they received showed that information was successfully transferred, new neuronal paths was created or consolidated for all.


We wish to thanks WaxYouth, Jérémie Chaligné that initiated the project, for his invitation. The class and each kids, by participating to this event, experienced talking in public, which is a skill must needed for their future.

Autor: Isabelle Malet

OCEANA – Logbook – colaboration

8 years old children, with Claire Birotat-Moncet.

Week mid March 2017 by Isabelle Malet


After introducing the brain to the kids in multiple sessions, we are preparing a conference. Activities that were done with the class will be presented to an audience of 200 persons. The school approved the invitation from Wax Youth that organise an event called “talking to an audience”. Isn’t it a situation where each children will have to deal with auto-regulation their mental states?


This Thursday 16, they met with M. Jérémie Chaligné, organizer of the event with our class. M. Chaligné answered their questions. Children explained their choice of topic, why they are excited about talking about the brain, and areas in the brain, what is in our head et that we don’t see, cells, neuronal path, cerebral plasticity, and how it works.


The follow up of our project around knowing about the brain take ground : how to control attention, emotions that can interact and compete with memory performance. They get aware and understand their mental states to control better their attention, a big challenge for each of the children.



OCEANA : program validation

Our questions:

The ability to detect a state of stress, of lack of attention or of emotional overload is not inborn, you need to learn how to do it. To improve it, children first need to be able to perceive such states.

The OCEANA team is interested in the ability to transfer this knowledge, i.e. can children be autonomous in the regulation of their mental states?

To test that, we try to answer multiple questions:

  • First, we will investigate whether children benefit from the use of Charlotte Cherel’s objects. Can the use of these objects facilitate the autonomous practice of attentive attendance exercises? In other words, can children detect that they need to calm down/get back in control, and will they use the objects in relaxation exercises out of their own initiative? (more often with objects than without)
    We will test children’s usage of Charlotte Cherel’s objects in volunteering classes.  We will ask these classes to use the objects every other week. With daily questionnaire, we will look at how often they practice attentive attendance exercises with and without the objects.
  • Second, we will test the teaching kit designed by Cogni’Junior. How does the perception of emotions, stress, and focus in children change after teaching the theory about the brain and after doing exercises to learn how to regulate these mental states? Which factors contribute to a better detection of these mental states?
    To test this, we will use questionnaires that are validated by multiple cognitive psychology studies. These questionnaires measure  children’s ability to perceive and regulate emotions; their own tendency to be emotional or stressed and how easy it is for them to concentrate. These questionnaires will be done before and after the use of the teaching kit to compare the change in answers. We will combine it with information from the regular questionnaires to get longitudinal information about our sample and examine if the evolution of mental states is linked to the evolution of school performance and motivation.

Questionnaires :

  • 5 questionnaires to be completed 3 times: before the onset of teaching, after the completion of the teaching activities and a few months after the teaching has finished (to verify if the change persists).
    • self-compassion questionnaire [stress/emotion regulation]: 12 questions
    • effortful control/ attention/inhibition [concentration] : 12 questions
    • empathic quotient [emotions regulation] : 20 questions
    • mind-wandering [concentration], the only one created by the OCEANA team; this questionnaire is yet to be validated: 11 questions
    • stress in children [stress] : 21 questions
  • regular questionnaire: this questionnaire will be realized as often as possible, after any type of school activity. It enables testing of the association between mood, motivation, focus, mind-wandering, curiosity and stress as well as the efficacy of exercises/tips learned through the OCEANA teaching kit.
    For example, a child that doesn’t like maths may evaluate math activities as difficult and might tend to experience stress and let his/her mind wander more. We could imagine that later, after the teaching of OCEANA, math will still be rated as difficult but the child will try to keep more focus and will put more effort into the tasks.
  • User questionnaires: filled in whenever the teachers (or children) want to give us comments, feedback, and ideas for improving the kit.

The team

Roselyne Chauvin

Doctorante / PhD candidate

Caroline Saunier

Enseignante / Teacher

Adeline Lucchesi

Enseignante + master sciences cognitives / Teacher + cognitive science master

Isabelle malet

Enseignante / Teacher

Marie Palu

Ergotherateute + assistance de recherche / Occupational therapist + research assistant

Héloïse Théro

Doctorante / PhD candidate

Jessica Massionnié

Doctorante / PhD candidate

Nietzsche Lam

Business developer

Sophie Akkermans

Doctorante / PhD candidate

Izabela Przezdzik

Doctorante / PhD candidate

Sabine Lagarde

Mindfulness expert

External collaborators:

  • CHARLOTTE CHEREL: young designer, she want to conceive product that engage users, here children, in an active use of their attention. She work today on the creation of object that would help the practice of attentive attendance in class.


OCEANA program roles:

Team and project management: Roselyne

Kit improvement / users feedback integration: Sophie / Izabela / Roselyne

Practical exercices formalisation: Isabelle / Sabine

Program promotion / distribution: Caroline & Roselyne (FR) / Nietzsche & Roselyne (NL) / Adeline (EN)

Pedagogic questions answers: Isabelle

Theoretical questions answers: Izabela (EN) / Sophie (NL) / Adeline & Roselyne (FR EN)

Scientific collaboration: Marie (FR) / Adeline & Jessica (EN) / Roselyne (NL)

Scientific evaluation protocol: Marie / Jessica

Video production: Héloïse, Caroline & Isabelle (FR)

OCEANA – Logbook – visit of the lab

While on the french side, our 3 classes continue the teaching and are arriving to the end of it, our first dutch class testing the kit give the teaching a try since January. Kids seems really interested and happy of this knowledge.

On the side of the OCEANA team, we are waiting for the detailed feedback of the teacher, but so far she seems to manage without help quite easily.

To thanks her to be our first dutch testing teacher and to give some meaning of this knowledge to the kid, we had the opportunity on this 20th of February to receive them at the Donders Institute. Quite an adventure for this 22 kids that we put together with another 12 kids from another school interested in visiting the donders. In total 34 kids aged from 8 to 11 years old were going around the Donders Institute today, bringing some smile to the researchers working there across their glass-open offices.

A quite intensive morning:

Kids had to run against the watch to see:

    • a presentation about research done at this neuroimaging center
    • a demo of the MRI

    • a EEG demo
    • a eyetracker demo

  • and to run to the anatomy museum to see some brain in bocals with one of our colleagues

They end up eating lunch in the Donders Institute canteen surrounded by puzzle and neurons plushes to occupy quick eaters. No time to rest, the bus was already waiting for them to go back to their home town, one hour from here.

OCEANA – Logbook – memory

Week January, 20th 2017 by Isabelle Malet

Do I have a good memory? Oh my memory fail me …
New chapter with the 8-9 years old children, but how important. Learning, is it memorizing all lessons done in the classroom?

So, to begin, all children are going to experiment situation of memorizing. Memory is at heart of children’s new questions: sure, it’s with our brain that we memorize, but what is the mechanism of memory? Is it efficient?
About 15 times are projected during 30 seconds. Children will have to list them on a paper sheet afterward. 20 minutes after, after the session, they will have to do it again.

By pair, they have to tell to the other a list of number, the other have to repeat what he recall. The list increase and they do it again. They succeed until the line with 7 numbers to repeat, after that, the success rate decrease. Indeed, it is possible to give back a list of number immediately but only for less than 7 numbers.
They is not only one memory but different type of memory. They lived two situations that illustrate short term, working memory and long term memory. Short term or working memory is used to maintain in mind a phone number in mind but is not saved for long. Recall in long term memory was more or less efficient today, according to students. You have students that have strategies and students that realized that it is really difficult to recall information seen one hour before.

We were able to observe a real dynamic between children that shared their own strategies. To memorize is such an essential of learning in school that some students were searching answer on the neighbor sheet even if the exercise wasn’t evaluated.

Next week, before the holidays, we will continue with learning about memory.

OCEANA – Logbook – cerebral plasticity and sessions about emotions


Session 4-2 on Dec. 01 with the 8 years old by Caroline.
The Donders brain puzzle is displayed on the board (I didn’t succeed to give children explanations about the different brain area but it was still useful to give some context to the recall about neurons). We talk again about new vocabulary seen at the last session. Once reactivated, we move to talk about neural networks and we define in detail synapse, electrical and chemical connections. Neurotransmitters can be inhibitors or exitators : so we end up saying that in order to learn we need to have positive emotions and that if we are too much stressed out, connections between neurons are not efficient.

We cut out neuron shape and we glued them on a board to make neural connections. We are touching the concept of cerebral plasticity:



Children are hyper receptive to all concepts and look at video, some say that they feel “more intelligent”

We end with the reading of Mimi the microglia, the tale, in which Mimi see the birth of a new neuron in a very precise brain area. Really? so the brain continue to make new neuron ? Yes it does !

Session 4-3 Dec.08 with 8 years old by Caroline.

We begin by reading the comic “cerebral plasticity”. Children were happy to see that they understand how the brain work and connections are make when we learn. The vocabulary is reactivated and its now totally assimilated by most of the children. After the reading, we come back to the cerebral plasticity and why being wrong matters to learn. Asking questions is the most important. We end this session by looking at Cline Alvarez video on brain plasticity. Children are now aware that they have a bigger neural networks than adults have. New questions arise: so are we more intelligent that adults are? Until the video explain that adults become expert thanks to a better organization of their connections with habits, exercise and repeating. No miracle, to become expert is based on repeating again and again!

Once again an amazing session that ended. During the school christmas market, I discussed with some parents in a informal way and all came to say that children are now talking a lot about neurons and how the brain works. They are “into it” and we feel that they are interested. New questions are : why ? the playful way to teach ? because we talk about them ?


Emotions, Our emotions.

Children are placed in groups of 6 or 5. They will discover the 6 basics emotions with the emotions games.
Each groups receive an emotion picture. They have to think in group on what it could mean, then they echange between groups. Emotions names came out and we write them on the main board.
In a second time, each groups receive one of the emotion card, a vocabulary card, and a picture card. They have to make a story out of it and then make the rest of the class guess which emotions they are talking about.

In a playful way, children used and review basic emotions.
Collectively, the class shared this emotions game. Children will be able to play later with it. The game is going to go in each family one day after the other, a nice way to play in family and gain new vocabulary.

OCEANA – Logbook – Starting with Neuroscience

After the introduction of what is the stress, we move to how the brain works. Children arrived to the question : why do we stress? It’s time to give them some basic information about the brain to see how this can be link to the cause of stress and how we can play on stress to reduce it if we understand better the brain.


We started with a question : how do we do to hold a pencil case ? I reach it with the hand. But how we do that ? What is happening? First I look at the pencil case, I decide that I want to get it and so I give the order to the hand to reach for it. We talked about the 5 senses. 

Information send to neurons. What is a neuron ? They use the plush and quickly they loved it. Then, we pin tem on the blackboard so everyone can see them. Then we decide to draw our new neuron-friends. After a beautiful representation of neurons, we listen to the reading of the first chapter of the tale Mimi. We begin to talk about the electrical signal and the action potential. But it’s too much for one time, they stay with a lot of new vocabulary : dendrite, soma, axon, axonal terminal. The brain plasticity will be addressed next time to allow continue in this topic.


For the 10-11 years old : introduction of information that are exchange between neurons, each child cut a neuron from the game and put them on the wall dedicated to it, they had to respect the direction of how we can assemble them. Children that didn’t had time to put their neuron, had to do it during the week, 2 or 3 per day. 

Everyone place his neuron where he want, a neuronal network emerges in a unic way but … a lot of other shape was possible, the idea of plasticity and unicity of the brain emerges.

The idea that we are unic, that neurons are working all the time, idea that fight the determinism because we are always in action and the brain is always able to perceive and treat information, we are always able to learn.

Session with 5-6 year old:

The group is really active, so we decided to change a bit the program and begin with relaxation exercises in parallel to teaching about the brain.

Starting the relaxation : to be here, foot in the floor, go up to the ankle, then the knees …
Along the exercice, children get calmed, even silent for 2 minutes.

Progressively, during the relaxation exercice, they begin to stop talking, move less and now they say during the week : “well we are not “here”, we are moving too much” 

A first success.

OCEANA – logbook – End of session about Stress

  • week 3 : frozen pictures
In the OCEANA program, we are progressing slowly on the sessions about stress. After being confronted to a stressful situation : make a oral presentation, it’s time to look at video make during the week and the previous session. Will the children be able to catch stress signs ?



Children watch presentation videos. Looking at themselves, most of them didn’t wanted to look, hiding their eyes. When I asked them why, they said that they were ashamed, that they didn’t want to see themselves for real(most interesting thing, the perception of a self, a mental projection very different that what we imagine of us, is it link to self confidence ? can we work on it ? could this relationship evolve ?). After that, childrens used a A4 paper sheet with the three pictures took in session 1. They read the comments from last week and had to make a A3 summury in little group. Working in group in hard for 7-8 years olds, they don’t succeed to work together. They drew squares in which each of them are going to write an individual comment. So no collective thinking, but we re going to work on that during the year and also with the program.
I didn’t look at the result of it in detail yet, but they are not able to make a summury table on their own, next time, we will make it all together. But they also are looking forward to see the videos from the other class.


  • Week 4 : meeting the other class


This 4th week should be the session 3 of the program. Few events on Isabelle side slow us and it was hard to find a common slot to discuss the sessions. So I lead it but without precise aims. Little fail, it happens. Childrens looks at the video from the class in Paris. They liked to hear a different french accent than they have. We discussed signs of stress linked to the table that Isabelle made to prepare the session which was far more developped that what we succeed to define together with the childrens of 7-8 years old butthe parisian clas is 2 years older.
For the future, it would be great to separate the signs of stress that we can see and those that are internal. Childrens ended the session by reading the table with all the signs and looked at if they could fine it in the videos from the parisian presentations. A good way to increase their vocabulary.

It’s hollidays time now, we will starts with the brain when we are back and rested ! To be continued …

On Isabelle side, both class (10-11 and 5-6) also progress well.


Today, for both class of oldest, it’s time to begin with the functioning of the brain. Firsts questioning are there helped by the introduction with the stress activity.They are ready to talk about neurosciences.


For the youngest class, it’s time for questionnaire. It was long and difficult but they were really consciously doing it ! even talking about it during lunch time.


Like Caroline say : to be continued …


Take a look at the example video to present oral presentations without or with stress as a sum up of knowledge about signs of stress made by Héloïse and Isabelle : (do you find the sign of stress too ?) in french

OCEANA : What is it?

OCEANA for ‘ Optimisation of Capabilities to Engage and Acquire, using neuroscientific methods’.


What is the program OCEANA?

The objective of this program is to raise the awareness of students via their abilities to pay attention to and learn, in order to optimize their learning process. In this medium, where schools and researchers come together, ideas and resources are pooled to produce innovative teaching methods. However, no one can innovate alone. OCEANA program aim to bring teaching and scientists together to:

  • decrease obstacle
  • innovate with a higher quality production
  • obtain shareable results

As designers of the program, we feel the need to create ethical (learning) products based on validated scientific knowledge and to validate our tools with teachers. To accomplish achieve this we-have called expired upon scientific methods to bring this project to life. OCEANA is the accumulation and realization of a long, multi-stage process combining scientific and teaching methods to produce a positive and lasting impact on children’s education.



Who are the members of OCEANA?

  • Cogni Junior: created by doctoral students in cognitive science and neuroscience to create playful tools to outreach science. Today, this project includes teachers who provide their expertise in teaching and spreading knowledge, as well as fulfilling their wish to provide new teaching methods to present neuroscientific topics to their students. The content of these presentations are developed with scientists in order to develop effective teaching methods, and monitor and improve the teaching experience.
  • Teachers testing the kit: If Cogni’Junior is leading this adventure, it’s because we hope to provide tools that can be use by all, so the use of the kit should not require initial knowledge of neuroscience. It’s with this aim that the team wish to take one year to improve the kit with all feedback that we can get from users. It will get out a unic program, made with and for teachers. After this validation on the pedagogic level, we will lead a scientific validation of the effect of the kit on academic improvement (year 3).

Cogni’junior actions:

  • supervising teachers in the understanding of knowledge and bringing awreness to scientific method
  • collecting scientific literature around key words of the program to integrate most up to date scientific information in the program in a popularize way 
  • creation of the teaching sequence about neuroscience prior to the applied sequence (meditation or other exercises)
  • creation of scientifically validated tools and documentation to help the teaching
  • networking and interaction with partner (JL Berthier, Donders Institute …)

The courses of the program OCEANA

To Ensure a proper validation of this program is Being the carried out, we make use of a 3-year protocol:

  • Year 1 :
    • teaching kit creation: theory part
    • 3 pilot classes (years 2 – 4 – 6) in Nord and South of France
    • translation in english and dutch
    • 1 pilot class in the netherlands
  • Year 2 :
    • validation with the teachers community
    • distribution: 300 hardcopy of the kit available for free (usb key + games)
    • intégration des retours d’utilisateurs
    • création de la partie pratique du kit
    • préparation de la validation scientifique
  • Year 3 :
    • scientific validation
    • collaboration with researchers for it
    • training teachers/creating tutorial video.