UTHealth Neuroscience Research Center

Organized by:
UTHealth Neuroscience Research Center

Participating Organizations:

Society for Neuroscience, The Health Museum, DANA Foundation

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Conference/Forum
  • Exhibit
  • Lecture/ Briefing

Target Audiences:

  • Elementary school students(1-5)
  • General Public
  • High School students(9-12)
  • Middle school students(6-8)
  • Patients & Caregivers
  • Professionals
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

The UTHealth Neuroscience Research Center (NRC) hosted a free public forum on the subject of “The Brain on Drugs”. This event provided updated information on addiction and durg abuse, and was held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 in Houston, Texas. The event was moderated by UTHealth addiction expert and director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addictions, Dr. Joy Schmitz. The panelists included Drs. Scott Lane and Michael Weaver from UTHealth, and Dr. Dawnelle Schattee from Baylor College of Medicine. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee attended the event and participated in a lively discussion. This free event discussed ‎drug addiction, ‎marijuana legalization, brain changes with drug use and talking to your children about drugs. Local support groups were made available after the Forum. On Thursday, March 19, the UTHealth NRC hosted “Brain Night for Kids”, an event designed for elementary school children and their families. This event included mini-lectures and brain-related demonstrations. Over 300 children and their family members enjoyed brain awareness activity booths. Children learned the importance of helmet-safety, held a real human brain, received a neurological examination, built neurons with pipe-cleaners, performed tasks with limited motor function, allowing them to understand the difficulties that some people face following a spinal cord injury. learned, and much more. Both events were very well received!

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Advertisements
  • Calendar Listings (newspapers, radio, television)
  • Emails
  • Mailings
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Press Release/Media Advisory
  • Website
  • Social Media

Other Publicity Methods:

For the public forum, interviews on local news television channels helped us reach the general public. We also used local peer-led support groups for the Public Forum on addiction to reach that patient population. Over 11,000 fliers were sent home with children from local elementary schools to publicize Brain Night.

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

The combination of all of our methods helped us reach both the targeted audience (patients) and the general public that were interested in learning more about drug use and general brain health (for brain night for kids).


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!
  • More Mindbogglers!
  • Staying Sharp Bookmark
  • BAW Stickers
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • The Mindboggling Workbook
  • BAW Buttons

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

  • Puzzles: K-12
  • Puzzles: BAW Favorites
  • Mindboggling Coloring Sheets

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

  • Fact Sheets
  • 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?

Participation in BAW events is always beneficial to our organization and in turn to the Houston community. BAW events extend our reach with local organizations and led to additional collaborations with the health museum and some local schools. These connections will allow more people in the community to learn about the brain and promote neuroscience education at every level. We were grateful for the publications and resources that DANA provided as they act as a constant reminder of BAW.

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

Social Media is always very helpful for us along with television advertising through interviews on local news stations. Local support groups are also a wonderful resource since they know exactly who to contact for specific events.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

Facebook information is extremely helpful. It allows us to stay updated with BAW week and help promote our events.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:


Contact Name:

Anne Hart

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


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