Brain Awareness Week

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Reports

University of South Carolina

Organized by:
University of South Carolina

Participating Organizations:
University of South Carolina Undergraduate Neuroscience ClubUniversity of South Carolina School of Medicine, Dept. of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience (funding)Dana Foundation (funding from Brain Awareness Week Grant)

Event(s) Summary

Number of Events Organized During Brain Awareness Week:

2

Year:

2021

Type of Events Held:

  • Brain Bee
  • Online/Virtual
  • Other
  • Workshop
  • Other: online virtual neuroscience workshop/course

Target Audiences:

  • High school students (9-12)
  • University students

Approximate Number of People Reached:

60

Details of Major Brain Awareness Week Events/Activities:

Our goal was to introduce high school students to neuroscience topics and careers in celebration of Brain Awareness Week. Volunteers from the University of South Carolina (UofSC) neuroscience community (undergraduate/graduate/medical students, postdoctoral fellows and professors) taught lessons as part of "neuroSC," a virtual neuroscience course for South Carolina high school students. We held two lessons a week for 8 weeks leading up to, and concluding during, Brain Awareness Week. We also held the 1st South Carolina Brain Bee during Brain Awareness Week to conclude BAW 2021 in South Carolina! “neuroSC” lessons spanned from Brain Basics and Artificial Intelligence to Endocrinology, Obesity and the Brain. Students also had the opportunity to watch volunteers perform an action potential lab and see and hear action potentials. "neuroSC" students could see course schedules, access a password-protected link to the virtual platform and access course materials (powerpoints, worksheets, articles, etc.) through an interactive website created by our university’s Undergraduate Neuroscience Club. Since “neuroSC” students were from across the state, funding from a Dana Foundation Brain Awareness Grant made it possible to mail students packets containing lab tutorials, hands-on sensory demonstrations, brain fact brochures, etc. for use during the classes. Students also received access to online neuroscience resources that they can continue to access for one year after "neuroSC" ended. To celebrate the end of the 8-week course, students picked a favorite neuroscience topic and university volunteers helped them research their topic, if requested. Students then presented their topic to everyone to celebrate the brain and all they learned!

Event Planning & Publicity

Publicity Methods Used:

  • Emails
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Website
  • Social Media

Which of These Publicity Methods Was The Most Successful?

We initially debated mailing physical advertisement letters about our events to schools, but given the pandemic and the virtual nature of high schools across our state this past year, emailing schools, administrators and teachers seemed to be the most successful.

Resources

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?

We felt our two events, neuroSC and the South Carolina Brain Bee, had a positive impact on SC high school students' perceptions of neuroscience & its careers, and the students also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to participate in our events. BAW also brought undergraduate/graduate/medical students, postdocs, and professors together to share their interest in the brain with high school students, and many volunteers gave positive feedback and asked to participate again next year!

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

One of the lessons we learned this year was how valuable the virtual nature of our BAW events can be. Students who wouldn't have been able to travel to Columbia, SC were able to participate in the events virtually. We even had one student who was stationed overseas with family (due to military duties) participate in our Brain Bee. This student was incredibly excited that the virtual nature allowed participation when it would not have been possible otherwise!

Did/do you like our Facebook page?

No

Contact Information

BAW Website:

https://www.scneuroclub.com/neurosc

Contact Name:

Sarah Tryon

Contact Phone:

803-216-3529

Contact Email:

sarah.tryon@uscmed.sc.edu

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