Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
Type of Events Held:
- Lab Tour
- Lecture/ Briefing
- School Program
- High School students(9-12)
- Middle school students(6-8)
- Patients & Caregivers
Approximate Number of People Reached:
100 students and 100 parents
Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:
Yale’s Brain Education Day includes a key note presentation a by a Yale science faculty member and multiple activities in which the students learn about neuroscience. This year’s key note presentation was on autism; the students and parents participated by pretending to be part of a research study where they had to respond to facial expressions. The students were able to learn about how researchers do science and even how they can become involved in a research study. Activity stations include sheep brain dissections, human brain imaging techniques, sensory and perception, a tour of the Cushing Center, and a Brain-Machine Interface station. During the sheep brain dissections, students are taught the functional roles of the different areas of the brain while dissecting a preserved brain. In the human brain imaging techniques station, students learn about MRI and EEG and visit the mock MRI scanner (this is a cardboard set-up that looks like an MRI machine for demonstration purposes). In the sensory and perception station, students listen to electrophysiological recordings from cockroach legs and perform a Von Frey touch sensitivity test. Students also receive a docent led tour of the Yale Cushing Center, watch videos describing brain-computer interfaces, and play with EMG-controlled robotic claws. All activities are designed to be flexible for all ages and simple to learn. Our objective with these stations is to expose students in a hands-on manner to a diverse array of neuroscience in order to better prepare them for future careers in science. We believe that we are achieving our goals as 43% of our target students in the Pathways to Science Initiative have persisted in college STEM majors, double the national average.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?
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
- Staying Sharp: Successful Aging and the Brain
What downloadable materials from the Foundation did you use for your events?
- Puzzles: Grades 6-8
- Puzzles: Grades 9-12
- Puzzles: BAW Favorites
What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?
- New Puzzles/Games
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?
Our BAW is the Neuroscience Outreach Program’s largest event. It benefits our organization by bringing the largest number of volunteers today to meet and interact with the local community. The community is also able to directly interact with neuroscientists and Yale students. Immediate outcomes from the event have included local students deciding to complete CT Capstone Projects on neuroscience topics or pursue STEM majors in college. Schools also contact us after this event for field-trips.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
Activities are always better than lectures. Students learn better when they are actively engaged in what they are doing. Perform a variety of activities as neuroscience is an extensive field; that way, if a student doesn’t respond well to one activity, they will have the opportunity to become excited about another activity.
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