Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
Type of Events Held:
- School Program
- Other: Neuroscience Movie Night
- Middle school students(6-8)
- University students
Approximate Number of People Reached:
Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:
Neuroscience Movie Night – We held an open movie night on campus with a screening of ‘Limitless,’ followed by a discussion on the limits of human cognition led by an esteemed research professor in computational cognitive neuroscience. Our goals centered on opening dialogue on popular brain-related media, in this case on the misguided notion that we only use 10% of our brain. An annual tradition, our movie nights attract university students and end up in intriguing discussions on the brain and cognition. We typically advertise with fliers around campus, and have in the past also created an open Facebook event. We also provide food and beverages. Hardy Middle School Visit – Our organization hosted more than 100 middle school children at Georgetown University for a day of interactive neuroscience learning. We ran 7 different stations centering on different topics of neuroscience including visuomotor adaptation, the different components of a neuron, the behavioral and cognitive aspects of the brain, and human brain anatomy (we would be happy to share further details on the stations with anyone interested in trying them). 2-3 graduate students run each station, and 1-2 escort the groups around. At the end of the day we gather the whole group for a trivia game that covers brain facts from all of the stations. The goals for this event are plentiful, but overall we aim to expose students to the breadth of neuroscience, engage them in scientific thought, and to inspire in them a sense of curiosity and appreciation for how the brain works. We have cultivated a great relationship with a local middle school in order to run this event, and we feel that each year the event only gets stronger.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
- Press Release/Media Advisory
- Social Media
Other Publicity Methods:
We make BAW T-shirts for our volunteers to wear, and they continue to wear them throughout the year! You can see this year's black BAW T-shirt in the pictures we have added to this report. It has 6 layers of gray words and 1 layer of white words as an analogy for the neocortex!
Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?
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:
- BAW Stickers
- Brain-shaped Erasers
- The Mindboggling Workbook
What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?
- New Fact Sheets
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?
First and foremost, we get the chance to inspire a new generation of students in the sciences, and this event has further improved our organization’s relationship with a local middle school. Since BAW, we helped organize and participated in a STEM Night expo at the local middle school that was open to all community members. Also importantly, our organization further built relationships with multiple departments on campus to run the successful events.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
A great outcome of community and outreach endeavors is the opportunity to build relationships. We suggest building those relationships as early as possible, with local schools and/or organizations that already participate in science outreach. Also, it helps to have a committee to help plan and execute events of this size (i.e., the middle school visit to campus).
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