Colorado State University

Organized by:
Colorado State University

Participating Organizations:

Department of Biomedical SciencesFront Range Neuroscience GroupPoudre School District

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit
  • School Program

Target Audiences:

  • High School students(9-12)
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Colorado State University celebrated BAW this year by providing an educational outreach event at Poudre High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. The event was coordinated by Leslie Stone-Roy from the department of Biomedical Sciences and involved 67 volunteers from the university, including postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students from CSU as well as two undergraduate international exchange students. The eleven interactive stations provided for the high school included human brain anatomy, comparative brain anatomy, chemical senses, vision and optical illusions, audition and noise-induced hearing loss, stroke, the neurobiology of Ecstasy, epilepsy, the neuromuscular junction of fruit flies, Alzheimer’s disease, and bullying and the brain. Each station had an informative poster, an interactive component, and 1-2 CSU volunteers to guide students through the information and activities. Our program reached 540 students from Poudre high school and 9 students from The Watershed School in Boulder. Students ranged from 9th–12th grade and were from the general Poudre high school program and from the International Baccalaureate program. Goals for the event were to provide an engaging opportunity for high school students to learn about neuroscience and research, and to provide CSU students with the opportunity to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for science by teaching specific topics in small group settings. I feel that these goals were met.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Other

Other Publicity Methods:

I contacted two teachers at Poudre High School about having BAW at the school. After we agreed to have the event at their school, they contacted other teachers who brought their classes to the event while we were visiting the school. The private high school from Boulder contacted me via email after finding my name associated with Brain Awareness Week activities in the Fort Collins area.

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Emails, posters/flyers and class announcements at CSU were most successful for recruiting volunteers. For attendance at the high school, I contacted 2 teachers that I knew and they contacted other teachers at the high school about BAW. Over-all, my interactions within the Fort Collins community are important for successfully advertising BAW to local high schools.


Of the Dana Foundation publications/resources distributed at your event(s), if any, please indicate the three most popular. Please choose up to three. If "other," please indicate below:

  • It’s Mindboggling!
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • BAW Buttons

What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?

  • Fact Sheets
  • Activities/Experiments

Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • BAW Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

The high school students and teachers love it! In addition to increased knowledge and awareness about neuroscience, high school students get to interact with CSU students and faculty. Several have contacted me after the event about my work at CSU and with BAW. CSU benefits include media coverage that highlights our positive impact on the community. Also, I’ve incorporated BAW into learning opportunities for CSU. Students create new BAW stations for independent study and honor’s thesis projects.

Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:

Organizing BAW and training volunteers is very time-consuming, but worth it! If working with a high school, communication throughout the planning process is very important.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?


Quotable comments which capture successful aspects of your event(s):

Quotable comments from cards sent to me by high school students: “The entire day was so interesting! There is so much about the brain to learn and I know we all really appreciate you taking time to teach us!" JK, "Thank-you for coming to Poudre! The displays were fascinating!” EJ, “I got to hold brains! How cool is that?! Thank-you" JJ, “Thank you so much! I had so much fun and learned a lot. Please come back!” M. "Thanks for the awesome program! I learned a lot and had a fun time." K.

Event Photos

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