Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
Type of Events Held:
- Lecture/ Briefing
- Other: Saturday Morning Science and Interactive Displays
- Elementary school students(1-5)
- General Public
- High School students(9-12)
- Middle school students(6-8)
- University students
Approximate Number of People Reached:
Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:
This year we planned four major events: Saturday Morning Science and Brain Awareness Day at Discovery Park of America, an academic lecture, and a book display tribute to Oliver Sacks at the UT Martin library. The Saturday Morning Science at The Discovery Park of America was an hour long, interactive lecture that involved an overview of brain anatomy and basic functional regions via a sheep brain dissection. Brain research techniques were introduced from brain imaging (MRI, fMRI, PET, DTI) to microarrays, microdialysis, CLARITY, and optogenetics. Children and adults gloved up and touched sheep brains, looked at MRI scans, flipped through a brain atlas (Talairach) and viewed various devices such as microdialysis tubing and glutamate sensors. Brain Awareness Day at Discovery Park of America included 5 interactive learning stations set up throughout the park for four hours one Saturday (April 10th). Stations were staffed by students and faculty from UT Martin as well as Greenfield High School Biology II class. The stations included general BAW information, neurons, senses and perception, brain touching, and brain and spinal cord safety. At the neuron station, participants could view motor neurons through a microscope, make fuzzy stick neurons, and color handouts of basic neuron structure. At the senses and perception station, participants could test their sense of touch and of smell via games, find their blind spots, and have fun with visual illusions. At the touching brains table, sheep brains were used to discuss basic anatomy and functional regions. At the brain safety station, participants could feel “brain goo” and try walking a line and catching a ball while wearing impairment goggles.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
- Press Release/Media Advisory
Other Publicity Methods:
Articles were submitted to the on-campus faculty and staff newsletter (The Addenda) and the local newspaper (The Weakley County Press). The Discovery Park of America sent out announcements via its website. The Saturday Morning Science and the Brain Awareness Day event were advertised this way too.
Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?
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:
- BAW Pencils
- Brain-shaped Erasers
- Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain
What downloadable materials from the Foundation did you use for your events?
- Q&A: Answering Your Questions About Brain Research Fact Sheets
- Puzzles: Grades K-2
- Puzzles: Grades 3-5
- Puzzles: Mindboggling Series
- Puzzles: BAW Favorites
- The Five Senses Coloring Sheets
What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?
Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?
- BAW Logos
- BAW Poster
Feedback & Keys to Success
How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?
This provided UT Martin and Greenfield High School biology students with a service opportunity in which they honed their communication skills and understanding of the nervous system while teaching brain-related information to a variety of individuals. UT Martin services a rural area. Many individuals from the region were exposed to opportunities in brain science that are not readily available.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
This year we incorporated more interactive activities for preschool and primary school children. The touch and smell activities at the senses and perception station at Brain Awareness Day at Discovery Park were very popular and offered more opportunities for young children to get involved than in the past.
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