Wayne State University

Organized by:
Wayne State University

Participating Organizations:

WSU College Neuroscience Society Detroit Medical Center Neurology University of Detroit – Mercy WSU Institute of Gerontology WSU Medical School Student Interest Group in Neurology WSU Pharmacology WSU Psychitary and Behavioral Neurosciences WSU Psychology WSU Translational Neuroscience Program

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:

Brain Day in Detroit is an annual event is organized by students and faculty at Wayne State University and the University of Detroit-Mercy. We partner with the Michigan Science Center located in Detroit. We placed 13 interactive activities throughout the science center, each presented by a unique research group in our neuroscience community, staffed by 138 volunteers. To encourage participation across all displays, we employ a“scavenger hunt” activity that is guided by the “Brain Day Passport”. More than 200 kids and their familiescompleted their Passport, for which they received a prize of a foam “stress brain”. Activities: Electric cockroaches (neurophysiology); Human brains (neuroanatomy); Miracle berries (sensation/uses berries that change sour to sweet); Exploring the sense of smell (sensation/interactive games); Sensory plasticity (Sensory adaptation using prism goggles); Fight or Flight (psychophysiology); Protect the Brain (importance of head safety); Cortex in Action (motor systems and coordination); Learning and Addiction (principles of learning); Arts and Crafts (games, puzzles, crafts); Lifespan Neuroscience (changes in perception and memory with age); Drug on the Brain (medication safety); Reflexes (measure reflexes) Major funding for the event was provided through a 2014 Society for Neuroscience Chapter grant award to the Michigan Chapter. This money was used to purchase permanent supplies. The cost of the foam brains used as an award for completing the Passport is split with the Science Center. The Science Center also provides free admission to all volunteers and a support staff to help set up activity stations. Disposable supplies are donated to the individual activity groups from their home units.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Posters/Flyers
  • Social Media

Other Publicity Methods:

We used the social media feeds of our universities and of the Michigan Science Center using #Brainday

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Social media through the science center. They have a large following of people interested in these kinds of events.


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:

  • It’s Mindboggling!
  • BAW Pencils and Erasers
  • BAW Buttons

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

  • Puzzles: Grades K-2
  • Puzzles: Grades 3-5
  • Mindboggling 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?

Beyond getting the message to the community, this has helped to strengthen our ties with the Science Center that has already resulted in other activities and initiatives. For example, during their upcoming “summer camp” we will be running activities dealing with head safety and concussions.

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

Make it a focal point of your university community. This helps us bring together groups that are scattered across our campuses. Our organizational strategy is to have each group design and staff their activities, with a central university coordinator acting as a liason between the groups and the science center. This allows each group to craft their message, and it distributes the workload.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Was the information provided on Facebook useful?

Some interesting ideas.

Event Photos

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Contact Information

BAW Website:


Contact Name:

Tom Fischer

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


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