Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:
Type of Events Held:
- School Program
- Middle school students(6-8)
Approximate Number of People Reached:
Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:
During this year's Brain Awareness Week I returned to my former high school, now Bexhill Academy in East Sussex, UK, to Mr Dan Russell's class of Year 9 pupils (Ages 13-14) to talk about my work and career as a neuroscientist. There were two aims to my visit: 1) To introduce the pupils to one aspect of neuroscience that interests me, namely the sensory nervous system; to explain some of the mechanisms behind every day sensory phenomenon and describe some of the ways we can study them. The talk was titled: 'How do you feel?' 2) At the request of the Head of Department I also told my story from being a pupil interested in science at school to becoming a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience. Overall my aim was to encourage an open-minded attitude to curiosity and asking questions. Using a combination of simple sensory demonstrations with audience volunteers and pictorial slides allowed a dialogue with the audience which revealed many interesting questions that probed beyond the knowledge gained from their school syllabus. The pupils were particularly interested in my recent work using stem cells and the possibilities these held in neuroscience and beyond. I realized I did not have to be so cautious in holding back too much scientific detail as the students were very quick to grasp even unfamiliar subjects. The students I spoke to were soon to be choosing their subjects for future study where science can be taken as additional classes. I hope that some pupils who were otherwise unsure may now have felt more confident to choose science as a path for their study, and perhaps future career.
Event Planning & Publicity
Publicity Methods Used:
Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?
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?
I received positive feedback from the Head of Department who told me her pupils had found the talk from a visiting neuroscientist novel and interesting, and I was invited back to give further talks to other classes in the future.
Please share any suggestions or lessons learned that may help others plan future events:
It never too late to organise a Brain Awareness Event, not matter how small or informal. There will always been a positive outcome for you and the participants!