University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Organized by:
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Participating Organizations:

North Carolina Museum of Life and Science

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit

Target Audiences:

  • Elementary school students (1-5)
  • General Public
  • High school students (9-12)
  • Middle school students (6-8)

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies organized an interactive Brain Lab in collaboration with science educators at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. The museum has a hands-on science lab that is conducive to interactive events such as these. Ours was one of the first events held in the science lab in the past 2 years. We set up 3 learning stations in the lab. 1) interactive brain models that we used to talk to kids about structures and functions of the brain, 2) rat, mouse, sheep and human brain specimens that visitors were allowed to carefully touch, 3) concussion simulation activity – visitors put on “concussion goggles” and we talked about symptoms of concussions, why it is important to protect your brain, had them try to do coordinated activities with and without the goggles. For all stations, scientists asked and answered questions about the brain, its function, and brain health. This was also a learning experience for 12 scientist volunteers – 55% of whom were new volunteers for our outreach activities. Volunteers were trained before their shift and learned how to engage a diverse audience, from pre-K students to adults. The event was held for 5 hrs on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. We were able to receive feedback from 35 participants and heard that everyone liked/loved the activities, especially seeing and touching a human brain. 100% of survey participants shared it was their first time participating in a Brain Awareness Week activity. We were thrilled to be resuming in-person BAW activities, felt community engagement was high and enthusiastic.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Emails
  • Website
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

The North Carolina Museum of Life and Science advertized the event on their website with is frequented often. We used our Outreach Twitter to advertise but I think the Museum advertizement was the most successful


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

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

Which BAW graphic materials did you use in publicizing your events?

  • Brain Awareness Week Logos

Feedback & Keys to Success

How do you feel BAW participation benefited your organization and the local community?

Our partnership with a local museum is mutually beneficial to us both. The museum loves offering a space for us for a hands-on activity and the help in staffing the lab space. This year, they were especially excited as we were one of the first exhibits after re-opening the space to the public. The scientists love having a dedicated space for activities and really enjoy interacting with museum visitors and sharing their love of science and the brain.

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

It was helpful to have activities that were interested for all ages – from pre-K to adults. All visitors were engaged at different levels and this also gave the scientists the opportunity to disseminate science at different levels!

Contact Information

BAW Website:


Contact Name:

Sara Faccidomo

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:

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