Brain Awareness Week

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Reports

Neuroscience at University of Nevada Reno

Organized by:
Neuroscience at University of Nevada Reno

Participating Organizations:

Washoe County School District; Washoe County Library System; Tahoe-Truckee School District; STEM Tahoe-Truckee; Discovery Museum, Reno; Douglas County School District; Carson City School System; Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair; UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:

approximately 26

Year:

2017

Type of Events Held:

  • Other
  • School Program
  • Other: community presentation; science fair presentations

Target Audiences:

  • Elementary school students(1-5)
  • General Public
  • High School students(9-12)
  • Middle school students(6-8)
  • Other
  • Other: Parents and teachers

Approximate Number of People Reached:

1500

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The majority of our presentations were scheduled with local schools. We had a different presentation depending upon age group. K-8 we often did many grades/classes in one stop. High school visits were usually to one or two science classes. Our major target is the general community, who we reach via presentations at the local libraries. In all cases, the presenters are a combination of senior undergraduates and graduate students. Some post-docs and faculty participate in special circumstances (judging science fair or Brain Bee). We have a acquired a large collection of demonstration material and let the presenters choose what they are comfortable using. This year we also developed a standard presentation .ppt which was available if anyone wanted to use. We highly encourage chalk talks, using white boards and the demonstration material rather then presenting a lecture. We have access to human brains, which are always the highlight of each talk. Our goal is to inspire curiosity, encourage questions and thoughts, make neuroscience accessible to the entire audience, and leave the audience with more information than they had before the talk. Our students are expected to prepare an outline of their presentation as well as practice with the materials. We used a google.doc to keep track of the presenters and presentations as welll as the material as it had to move between all the groups. This year was the most complicated yet, as we had a couple of different organizers, so really needed to have good communication so we did not overcommit or miss something. We also ask the students to give us feedback on their experience as presenters. This is very valuable, as the students realize the value for themselves.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Other

Other Publicity Methods:

Most of our presentations were arranged with schools, so not open to public. The libraries did their own publication: flyers, calendar, and website. The STEM fairs did their own publication.

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

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Resources

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:

  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research
  • It’s Mindboggling!
  • The Mindboggling Workbook

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

  • Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research
  • Puzzles: Grades 3-5
  • Brain Briefs Fact Sheets

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

  • Activities/Experiments

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 always get wonderful feedback from after our visits. Most importantly to me, is the feedback that I get from our presenters. They really feel good about the experience and the chance to share their knowledge with their community. We always get asked to return. In one case this year, the teachers have asked for a workshop for them, so they can better incorporate neuroscience/brain into their lessons.

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

1) Strongly encourage presenters to practice before the event. 2) Have a guideline of brain facts, activities, common questions for each grade level. 3) Start planning well in advance and make a schedule, including presenters names, location, contact at location, and any other special information 4) Pair inexperienced presenters with experienced presenters 5) Ask teachers what the students already know and if there is a specific topic they would like to have presented. 6) Avoid powerpoint lectures, instead engage the audience by drawing, asking questions, doing demonstrations 7) Remember– use language that is understood by audience; don’t revert to your 2 min project description…. too much science will lose the audience. 8) Have a max of 3 main points to make, then you will have time for questions and interaction.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?

No

Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

I did not know about the facebook page. I was not not a fan, just didn’t know about it until right now.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:

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Contact Name:

Amy Altick

Contact Phone:

7757846679

Contact Email:

aaltick@unr.edu

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