Brain Awareness Week

Partner

Reports

Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar

Organized by:
Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar

Participating Organizations:
Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, IIT Gandhinagar, Stimulus (stimulusngo.org)

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:

12 Talks, 2 competitions, 3 workshops and 2 Panel discussions

Year:

2021

Type of Events Held:

  • Lecture/Briefing
  • Online/Virtual
  • Workshop

Target Audiences:

  • General Public
  • High school students (9-12)
  • K-12 Teachers
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:

1456

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

We hosted four main activities virtually - Talks, Panel Discussions, Workshops, and Competitions. The talks were by invited speakers across the globe, however, dominated by Indian researchers working in India. The topics were focused on neuroscience research and introduced multiple concepts from varying perspectives to the audience. The panel discussion on Neuroethics was for a general audience while the panel discussion on Neuroscience, technology & education, was targeted towards teachers. Overall, the feedback on the talks and discussions was positive however in few cases the talks may have been too specialized for a general audience. Two competitions, the Junior Research Competition, and Stories of Scientists were conducted. The Junior Research Competition received a whopping 100 registrations in less than a week from school students from grades 9 - 12. However, due to multiple restrictions online, only 20 students gave final presentations on topics related to neuroscience. They were given a week to prepare and were provided with assistance from Masters and Ph.D. students from the centre. Three winners were announced for this event. For the stories of scientists' competition, participants were asked to write a poem or prose dedicated to the work of a neuroscientist. The competition did not receive as much engagement and probably posed restrictions in terms of the topic being niche and the medium of posting their work was cumbersome. Workshops were received very enthusiastically. To conduct virtual workshops, we limited the participants to 20 and utilised break-out rooms to form groups and conduct activities. Neuroaesthetics was very well received, followed by Ux & gaming and Neuroscience curriculum design.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

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

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Emailing targeted groups such as universities and educational institutions because you are able to access the niche audiences who are more likely to engage as compared to audiences reached through publicising on social media or press releases. Since the aim of the event was to educate and build awareness, we targeted universities and colleges offering majors in an allied field of neuroscience such as computer science, psychology, biology.

Feedback & Keys to Success

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

The event informed the students of not only why neuroscience and its allied fields could have viable career paths and shifted its focus on research while informing the general audience of what entails in research positions and how one could start a career in it. Through Junior Research Competition, the students in schools were encouraged to work on neuroscience topics and few students have approached the institute to take up internships in the centre.

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

1. In today's zoom exhausted audience, creativity is your ally and the novel the program is, the better the reception will be. 2. Virtual events help us reach audiences across the globe, but it limits the audience you can reach when you are considering spectrums of age and socio-economic classes. It's important to keep that in mind while designing events as it's possible to reach these "unreachable" audiences through other ways if only we apply resources with that intention.

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Event Photos

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Brain Awareness Week at the Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences

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About the events

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Panel on ‘Neuroscience, Technology and Education – the new equilateral triangle in education?’

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IIT Gandhinagar

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Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Contact Information

BAW Website:

http://cogs.iitgn.ac.in/baw/

Contact Name:

Shriya Naidu

Contact Phone:

+919791196037

Contact Email:

shriya.n@iitgn.ac.in

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