University of California Santa Barbara

Organized by:
University of California Santa Barbara

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit
  • Lecture/ Briefing
  • School Program

Target Audiences:

  • Elementary school students(1-5)
  • Other: Preschool students (ages 3-5)

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

STEM exhibits: This year, we presented our “Brain Booth” again during Hope Elementary School’s STEM night and included for the first time, a presentation at the Girls Inc afterschool program. We made the booth more fun by including sensory games and neuron-face painting. The “Brainiacs” School Program: This year, we majorly extended our in-school programming. For the 5th year in a row, we presented a 45-min interactive program (incl. real brains) to the 9 Pre-School classrooms at the University of California’s daycare center and children took home a coloring book. This year, we expanded our in-class programming at Hope Elementary to include all grades K-6 and we added a program for grades K-6 at Santa Barbara Charter School. Presentations were age-selective and included Q & A about brain function, inspection of real human and animal brains, relay races, pipecleaner neurons, microscope demonstrations and coloring. All children and teachers received take-home materials from the Dana Foundation. We received media attention from our university for these activities and our Public Affairs Office created an on-line video to inform the community of our efforts in the hope of recruiting more interest from undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty for next year’s activities. Town Hall: This year, I also participated in a Town Hall meeting in early March focused on Prescription Opioid Abuse that coincided with an annual Dodge Ball tournament in honor of a Biopsychology student who died due to an overdose a few years back. The plan for upcoming years is to be always involved in some capacity in the Town Hall meeting, which will focus on the biological effects of drugs of abuse.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

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

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

I honestly did not have the people-power to launch a large advertisement campaign. Our Town Hall meeting was advertised in the local papers, university paper and on the news. My classroom activities were announced by emails and next year, I hope to have a media advisory of my activities to try to garner more community support (and hopefully donations so we can expand our program).


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 Stickers
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • BAW Buttons

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

  • Mindboggling Coloring Sheets

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

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activities/Experiments
  • New Puzzles/Games
  • New Coloring Sheets

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?

Our BAW programs this year were highly successful. Both elementary schools have agreed to have us return and Santa Barbara Charter is going to be applying for district and state-funding in order to assist me in purchasing additional supplies for next year. Word-of-mouth has lead to the addition of at least 1 more elementary school for next year and the news release issued by UCSB has led to further inquires from local schools and schools in Carpenteria..

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

I was on sabbatical this year and thus, it was possible for me to run nearly all of the activities single-handedly. Next year, I will begin in Sept to recruit undergraduate and graduate students and to train them in programming so that we can expand the program with the intent of covering 2 schools simultaneously. I will also be contacting our Public Affairs office to make media announcements regarding our in-class presentations.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

honestly, i did not have the time to use the Facebook page at all.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

Contact Name:

Karen Szumlinski

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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