Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
Type of Events Held:
- Brain Fair
- Middle school students (6-8)
Approximate Number of People Reached:
Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:
Historically, students and educators struggle with neuroscience content (Gurung & Landrum, 2013; Hudson & Whisenhunt, 2019). The purpose of this project was to support activities to enhance Neuroscience learning in undergraduates and in middle schooler attendees through student-created interactive demonstrations for a virtual Brain Awareness Day event, “Your Brain as your Body’s Computer.” In 2018, I brought BAW to Purdue University Northwest and hosted over 200 attendees; the 2019 event hosted 500 attendees; and in Fall 2020, we tested the feasibility to hold this event virtually for 100 attendees. This spring, we hosted about 50 attendees plus several presenters. I am very proud to say that with a grant from the Indiana Academy of the Sciences, we were able to host Dr. Temple Grandin as a keynote speaker for our second virtual session. The proposed program aimed to make Neuroscience more accessible through student-designed interactive demonstrations. These demonstrations allowed students to practice communicating science effectively and provide the middle schoolers exposure to Neuroscience. The undergraduates received continuous feedback on their projects and presented the information in ways that highlighted their creativity. The middle school attendees will be able to apply what they have learned in the Neuroscience activities to other concepts while connecting Computer Science with Neuroscience. In a brief survey distributed to attendees, middle schoolers showed increased learned about robots and neuroscience. Presenters indicated increased self-efficacy and enhanced communication and collaboration skills.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
- Social Media
Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?
What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?
- New Lesson Plans
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?
This event gave students an interactive way to be engaged with Neuroscience. The presenters expressed to me that they had missed doing outreach activities and they were excited to have been able to interact with the kids even virtually.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
We did experience some no-shows, so I would like to have a better way to encourage accountability. Also, I would’ve chosen Zoom over BlueJeans because more people are familiar with that, but our institution does not use that.
Did/do you like our Facebook page?
Was the information provided on Facebook useful?
I like learning about different types of events.