Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
Type of Events Held:
- School Program
- Other: Resource distribution and awareness
- High School students(9-12)
- Middle school students(6-8)
Approximate Number of People Reached:
Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:
As part of the Southern African Neuroscience Society's mission to foster interest in the brain and provide a means of communication about neuroscience in Southern Africa, we celebrated Brain Awareness Week in 2019 by highlighting local neuroscience researchers and research. We produced a video clip, in which four researchers discussed their research topics, how they came to be involved in neuroscience and what their career entails. The research topics included emotional regulation in the brain, neuroscience related to stress and performance, neuroimmunology, and using virtual reality to investigate psychiatric disorders. This video was sent to the Western Cape Department of Education syllabus coordinator for distribution to schools. As the province has approximately 360 000 high school students, the potential audience was sizable. We hoped that the video would provide an engaging format to highlight the fascinating field of research, and also alert students to the diversity of neuroscience researchers in South Africa and the range of areas under investigation. An important outcome of this programme is that we gained an insight into what makes for a clear and interesting presentation. Plans to expand this initiative for BAW 2020 are already underway.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
- Social Media
Other Publicity Methods:
Distribution by government officials employed in the provincial Department of Education.
What other downloadable materials would you like the Foundation to provide?
- New Fact Sheets
- New Lesson Plans
- 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?
BAW participation allowed us to access some of the member-only resources and to read about others successful projects, which we can use as guidelines when we expand to direct engagement. By preparing the video for BAW, we engaged with researchers outside of our immediate fields. It was a fantastic chance for basic and clinical neuroscientists across different disciplines and research areas to collaborate on one project and share their passion for neuroscience.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
We need to expand the researchers and research profiled in our videos to make sure that we represent the diversity within our neuroscience community. As we are distributing videos to school students, it is important to not only provide a range of interesting topics, but to also make sure that there are role models for all students. We may also need to consider recording videos in languages other than English to ensure we reach the broadest audience.
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