Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
5 consecutive day-long events
Type of Events Held:
- Lab Tour
- School Program
- Elementary school students(1-5)
- 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:
The purpose of Brain Awareness Week (BAW) at UCLA is to foster neuroscience interest and encourage the development of future scientists. The goal of the following report was to determine the optimal grade-level for these events. Determining the optimal grade-level for BAW is important because it allows us to target outreach that will receive the largest marginal gain in neuroscience interest and STEM encouragement. As a result of such economization, total gain in neuroscience interest and encouragement should increase. The hypothesis was that older students (e.g., in grades 11-12) would be the optimal target audience for these events. UCLA BAW occurred March 11 - 15, 2019. During 5 consecutive day-long events, students participated in hands-on demonstrations, listened to capstone poster presentations, dissected sheep brains, attended lab tours and sat in on career panels. The hands-on demonstrations included various human and animal brain specimens. The capstone poster presentation included Multilingual Mania, Optical Illusions, Synesthesia, Single Cell to Human Brain, Memory Enhancement, and The Plastic Brain. Participating students were given a post-evaluation survey. Students in 5th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, 11th grade and 12th grade participated in this study (N = 327). A negative correlation between grade-level and the students’ thoughts regarding the importance of science was found. Further analysis suggested that students who thought science was important derived more enjoyment from learning about science and the brain, were more interested in becoming a scientist and going to college, and wanted to learn more about the brain. The trends suggest that students in lower grades are the optimal target audience.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
- Social Media
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 The Brain
- More Mindbogglers!
- Staying Sharp Bookmark
- BAW Stickers
- BAW Pencils
- Brain-shaped Erasers
- The Mindboggling Workbook
- Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain
What downloadable materials from the Foundation did you use for your events?
- BAW Bookmark
- Puzzles: Grades 3-5
- Puzzles: Grades 6-8
- Kids Fact Sheets Grades 3-5
- Kids Fact Sheets Grades 6-8
What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?
Feedback & Keys to Success
How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?
Overall, our UCLA BAW 2018 program was successful in promoting interest in neuroscientific research and aims to continue to encourage the next-generation of curious thinkers and future scientists.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
Additionally, we evaluated student interest in learning about science and the brain, desire to attend college, and belief in the importance of science. Overall positive feedback ratings from all age groups using a 5-point likert-type satisfaction scale. Importantly, student testimonials highlighted the hands-on activities as significant features of the outreach.
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