Marshall University

Organized by:
Marshall University

Participating Organizations:

arshall University, Huntington, WV; College of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences Program. St. Mary’s Medical Center, Huntington, WV.

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit
  • School Program
  • Symposium

Target Audiences:

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

Approximate Number of People Reached:

700 students, teachers and volunteers

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The seventh annual Marshall University Brain Expo was held at the Memorial Student Center on October 2, 2015 from 9am – 2pm. This event is structured in a reverse science fair format with 27 stations that use hands-on activities to teach elementary school children about the brain and nervous system. Stations are presented primarily by Marshall University undergraduate students with some graduate student and faculty participation. The stations cover topics ranging from brain anatomy and neuron structure to invertebrate nervous systems and comparative behavior in primates. Marshall University is located in the heart of Appalachia and several stations address the importance of lifestyle choices regarding food, sleep and exercise in maintaining brain health. We also have an ongoing collaboration with the outreach coordinator from St. Mary’s hospital, who contributes to a brain and spinal cord safety station. Brain Expo 2014 was attended by nearly 600 grade 2-6 children from nine local schools and their teachers and parent volunteers. Over 200 Marshall University students and faculty volunteers presented the stations. The major goals of the program are to educate children about the function and importance of the nervous system, to encourage lifestyle choices for brain health and to spark an interest in science at an early age to facilitate recruitment to STEM fields. Feedback from children, teachers and volunteers was overwhelmingly positive.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Advertisements
  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website

Other Publicity Methods:

In addition to emails and flyers, student volunteers were recruited with short visits to classes of colleagues in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Emails to specific teachers remain the most effective way of reaching schools to attend the event. Volunteers were recruited with posters in the Science building and through short classroom visits. We also emailed the list of volunteers from last year's event.


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!
  • More Mindbogglers!
  • Staying Sharp Bookmark
  • BAW Stickers
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • The Mindboggling Workbook
  • BAW Buttons

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?

We continue to receive very positive feedback from the children, their teachers, and the Marshall University volunteers. Every year, we fill to capacity and must turn some school groups away. We also expand our efforts by performing school visits later in the spring semester. The annual Brain Expo has developed into one of the most significant public education programs at Marshall University.

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

We continue to use a sticker card component to the Brain Expo. The expo is set up in a large ballroom with each station clearly numbered. Every child receives a sticker card with boxes for each station at their first station. When they successfully complete the activity at each station, they receive a sticker. This allows children to move around the room, going to stations as they become available and circumvents the problem of some stations, or some groups of children, taking longer than others. The cards also serve to remind the children of the activities and lessons after they leave.

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Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Contact Details

Contact Phone:

304 696 3778

Contact Email:

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