Wayne State University

Organized by:
Wayne State University

Participating Organizations:

Michigan Science Center

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Exhibit

Target Audiences:

  • General Public

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Brain Day in Detroit is an event that has been held for over 20 years, including in 2020 prior to the pandemic shut-down. This year’s event was held on March 12. We partner with the Michigan Science Center located in Midtown Detroit adjacent to our university This year we had 875 members of the general public attend Brain Day, the highest attendance at the center since the pandemic.

14 stations were placed around the center, each presented by a different research group from multiple programs at Wayne State. These stations were staffed with over 100 volunteers, including undergraduate, graduate, and medical students as well as faculty and post-docs. This broad list of participants helps to underscore the importance of the event in bringing together members of the Detroit neuroscience community for this event. Generally, each research group organizes an activity along the themes of their research. This decentralized approach makes planning much easier as the job of the central coordinator becomes one of a liaison between the research groups and the very helpful Science Center staff.
Activities included a human brain display, exhibits on brain development and aging, activities focused on drug safety, addiction, head safety, and more! We also had an arts and crafts area specifically for the youngest visitors.

We hold this event with very little outside funding. Disposable supplies are donated to the individual activity groups from their home units. We received a donation of “Miracle Berry” tablets for our sensation of taste exhibit from the manufacturer of this product (mBerry). Most of the “take-aways” distributed at the event are generously provided by the DANA foundation or other research organizations.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

We have found using the social media resources of the university and the science center has the greatest impact. This is all we now do.


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

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

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?

It helps to bring together the neuroscience community at Wayne State, which is widely dispersed. It also helps us to strengthen our relationship with our partner the Michigan Science Center. Connections made at the event have resulted in other activities held at schools and community centers.

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

Allow your groups to be independent and creative, and allow for plenty of time to plan! We have one person as a central organizer who serves largely as a liaison to the Science Center to arrange space, tables, etc. All other planning is done by the independent research groups.

Event Photos

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Visitor guide with activities

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Under the microscope activity

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Head safety group with the decorated eggs that survived their fall

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Arts and crafts area

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Our mascot “Brainy”

Contact Information

Contact Name:

Tom Fischer

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


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