Marshall University

Organized by:
Marshall University

Participating Organizations:

Marshall 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:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Marshall University held the eighth annual Brain Expo on April 8th, 2016 from 9am – 2pm in the Memorial Student Center. This event is structured in a reverse science fair format with 28 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. Nearly 600 grade 2-6 children from nine local schools, teachers and parent volunteers attended this year’s event. Over 150 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 the children, teachers and volunteers who attended was overwhelmingly positive.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Emails
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Emails work best for recruiting schools to attend. We have a well established relationship with local schools, and they respond quickly to emails about the Expo. Emails and classroom visits work best for recruiting student volunteers.


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!
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers

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. Each 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.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

Contact Name:

Nadja Spitzer

Contact Phone:

304 696 3778

Contact Email:

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