William and Mary

Organized by:
William and Mary

Participating Organizations:

William and MaryThe Neuroscience Student OrganizationBranch Out Facts Machine

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:




Type of Events Held:

  • Online/Virtual
  • School Program
  • Social Media Campaign

Target Audiences:

  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:


Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Building the Neuroscience Community – Real Events done Virtually: For this first BAW at William and Mary, we had 2 events to bring together students at the college in celebration of the brain. The first was a trivia night. The podcasters and semi-professional trivia night hosts, Facts Machine, put together trivia questions for our group at W&M using zoom. Teams of students and professors from across disciplines were paired up. I think the night was successful, in part, because the questions were a mix that worked for all levels – a combination of real neuroscience facts, silly puns, and obscure neuroscience trivia that evened the playing field and made every group a potential winner. The other essential ingredient to the night’s success was the pacing – teams were given time to mull over and discuss the fun and thought provoking questions were and this naturally produced conversation between the members of the team. The second BAW2021 event at William & Mary was the first annual SPAM Carving Contest in Honor of the Brain. W&M students picked up a can of SPAM and then created a SPAM sculpture that illustrated some aspect of neuroscience. To enter the contest, submissions were required to include a 2 minute video of their carving process and images of their final creation. They then posted it on YouTube, and provided the link along with a short description of their sculpture, the media (majority SPAM) used and an Artist Bio. We concluded the Brain Awareness Week with an awards ceremony that gathered the neuroscience community together to view the winning submissions and award the first and second prizes to the winners.

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

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

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

Typically, the posters/flyers would have been the most successful method, but social media/email/listserves were critical this year.


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

  • Truth or Myth Flash Cards

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

  • New Fact Sheets

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?

During this long year+ of remote learning, BAW brought together enthusiastic students from across the college to celebrate neuroscience.

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

We hope to build on this enthusiasm next year when we are able to to reach out to the community outside our college and raise awareness about child development and food insecurity.

Did/do you like our Facebook page?


Event Photos

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Logo for our events

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SPAM carving contest entry

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SPAM carving contest entry

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a collection of submissions to the SPAM Carving contest in honor of the brain

Contact Information

BAW Website:


Contact Name:

Jennifer E Bestman

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


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