Hope College

Organized by:
Hope College

Participating Organizations:

Hope College, University of Michigan BrainsRule!, Michigan Society for Neuroscience Chapter

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/ Briefing
  • Open House
  • School Program

Target Audiences:

  • Elementary school students(1-5)
  • General Public
  • Middle school students(6-8)
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Brain Week had four major components including 4 visits to an after-school program, 4 visits to 6th and 7th grade classrooms, a keynote address, and a Brain Day Open House event. Our after school and in-school visits were incredibly well received and we believe these played a large role in the success of the Brain Day Open House on Saturday. Through these demonstrations we reached ~135 students, many of whom are underrepresented in STEM fields. We have been asked by the teachers to continue these events in the future, which is a sure sign of their success. Our Keynote speaker was Michigan State University Assistant Professor and Director of Advanced Microscopy, Nick Kanaan. Nick’s keynote address was titled “The Brain and Alzheimer’s Disease”, and this event filled our room to capacity with standing room only for students, faculty and community members (~90 attendees). The talk itself was incredibly well received and students were excited by the accessibility of this talk, even for non-majors. We stressed the need for accessibility in to our speaker. Finally, on Saturday we hosted the Brain Day Open House. We had 158 children attend the event, and 104 adults. Our Hope students did an amazing job interacting with the K-12 students and it was a phenomenal success. BrainsRule!, a group of University of Michigan neuroscience graduate students came and participated as well, with 15 of their members . Following the event graduate students and undergraduate students shared lunch and talked about graduate school, giving our students access to graduate students without any faculty presence. The event was a complete success. Moving forward we aim to improve simply make things run more smoothly, perhaps expanding school visits.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Advertisements
  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Flyers at local schools was very successful, as was visiting schools ourselves. Social Media probably helped as well.


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 Stickers
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain

What downloadable materials from the Foundation did you use for your events?

  • Puzzles: BAW Favorites
  • Mindboggling Coloring Sheets

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

  • Activities/Experiments
  • New Coloring 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?

These events brought our school and the community together. It gave our students a chance to test their knowledge and teach younger students about the brain. In addition this allowed students to come together for a great cause. Finally, it will hopefully aid in increasing awareness that Hope College is conducting great neuroscience research.

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

When inviting speakers, send invitations 6-12 months in advance. We struggled with speakers already committed to other events or personal conflicts. For increasing community involvement for older generations, reach out to local retirement communities at least 1 month ahead of the event. Many of these communities will make your event a part of their official events calendar and may even bring a bus!

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:


Contact Name:

Peter Vollbrecht

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


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