SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES FOR BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK
 
Interested in planning a BAW event, but not sure what you can do? Below are some ideas on how to get your organization and community involved in the campaign, including suggestions for collaborating with other organizations.

For your convenience, the activities are split into ideas for children and adults.

If you're unable to plan a live event this year, scroll down to check out our ideas for "Non-Event" BAW Celebrations. 
 

FOR CHILDREN IN GRADES K-12:

  • Visit local schools to present lectures, hands-on activities, demonstrations, and experiments about the brain to students. Get started by visiting your child’s school, or ask your colleagues if they have children in local schools.
  • Contact after-school programs in your community (Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl/Boy Scouts, etc.) and volunteer to present hands-on activities, demonstrations, and experiments about the brain to participating children.
  • If your organization is a school, consider incorporating daily brain facts or brain fitness tips in your school announcements during BAW or creating a bulletin board display about the brain.
  • Contact your local schools to determine if there will be any science fairs during March. Volunteer your organization as a resource for students wishing to do science projects on topics related to the brain.
  • Set up a BAW display in your school library with books and reference material about the brain. Distribute the free Dana publications and BAW promotional materials available for order by registered BAW partners (USA only).
  • If your organization is a research facility, hold lab tours for local students to educate and excite them about the research being done within their community.
  • Organize a brain art, essay, poetry, music, or drama competition for local schoolchildren.  Choose a topic of relevance and interest to a younger audience.
  • Create traveling displays or interactive exhibits on the brain and present them at local schools, community centers, libraries, shopping malls, and other public spaces.
  • Coordinate a workshop for school teachers on a brain-related topic.
  • Use one of the Dana Alliance’s Mindboggling booklets and puzzle packets as a classroom activity. The booklets are free and available for download or order (USA only) by registered BAW partners, and the puzzles can be downloaded from the BAW website.
  • If you are a science teacher, incorporate BAW into your curriculum by assigning students a brain-related project. Have students present their projects to their classmates or to younger students in your school.
  • Coordinate a shadow program.  Local high school students can shadow neuroscience faculty and students, and discover what it means to be a neuroscientist and why it is important to study the brain.
  • Get involved in the International Brain Bee, a live Q&A competition that tests the neuroscience knowledge of high school students.  For more information, visit the official International Brain Bee Web site or contact Dr. Norbert Myslinski of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry at email: nmyslinski@umaryland.edu
  • Partner with a science museum to present exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and experiments about brain structure, function, and diseases and disorders. Science museums often have extensive contacts at local schools and can help draw this audience to your events. 
     

FOR ADULTS:

  • Set up and staff an exhibit table at a local hospital, doctors’ office, community center, or shopping mall and distribute the free Dana publications and BAW promotional materials available for order by registered BAW partners (USA only). 
  • Coordinate a lecture or series of lectures about the brain. Consider choosing a theme for your lecture series, and organize several talks on related topics.
  • Broaden the reach of your lecture or panel discussion by streaming it live on your website, or hold a webinar instead of a “live” event to draw a larger audience outside of your geographic area.
  • Organize a health fair. Invite local organizations to staff exhibit booths, distribute materials, offer free health screenings, and more.
  • If your organization is a research facility, hold lab tours for the general public to educate and excite them about the research being done within their community.
  • If your organization is an outreach or advocacy group, launch a social media campaign during BAW to educate your followers about a topic or issue in neuroscience that is of particular importance to your organization.
  • Create traveling displays or interactive exhibits on the brain and present them at local schools, community centers, libraries, shopping malls, and other public spaces.
  • Coordinate a workshop for school teachers on a brain-related topic.
  • Organize a film festival featuring movies about the brain. Begin each film with a brief lecture or follow it with a Q&A session with a brain expert on the subject addressed in the film.
  • Ask your local library to organize a BAW display with books and reference material about the brain, or offer to set up your own display. 
  • Invite your local media representatives to a “brain-briefing” highlighting the research being done at your institution.
  • Run a series of interviews on your website or social media or in your newsletter with researchers from your organization or institution. Consider videoing portions of the interviews and posting them on your website or YouTube channel.
  • Partner with a science museum to present exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and experiments about brain structure, function, and diseases and disorders.Find out what programming they may already have available on the brain.
  • Contact your local radio and television stations to incorporate a brain-related segment into their programming schedule during BAW.  Volunteer your organization as a resource for speakers, topics, and content.
  • Team up with local businesses to sponsor classes and workshops for employees to raise awareness about brain function and fitness, brain diseases and disorders.


For more detailed information about events that have proven successful in past BAW campaigns, visit
Partner Reports. 

For tips on organizing events, visit “
Planning Programs for Brain Awareness Week.”
 

"NON-EVENT" BAW CELEBRATIONS:
 
If the idea of planning a BAW event is too overwhelming for the current resources and staff of your organization, consider the following ways to participate in the campaign and inform your community about the importance of brain research:

  • Use social media! Post a daily brain fact or brain fitness tip on Facebook or your blog, or tweet about the brain (use #brainweek). Be sure to connect with Brain Awareness Week’s official Facebook page and share our posts.
  • Ask your local, state, and/or national government official(s) to issue a BAW proclamation.
  • Write your local, state, and/or national government officials to encourage their support of brain research.
  • Write an article or editorial about BAW and the importance of brain research for your newsletter. Even articles which appear post-campaign will help spread the word about this important effort.
  • Blog or write about BAW on your website.
  • Include notices about BAW with employees’ paychecks and newsletters.  Use this as a means to promote BAW activities taking place in your community.
  • Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers about the importance of brain research.  Encourage your constituents to do the same.
  • Include an advertisement about BAW in your newsletter.
  • Include a brain-related puzzle in your newsletter or blog, or on your website or social media.
  • Become a brain advocate and encourage your constituents to do the same. Distribute our “Ten Ways You Can Be a Brain Advocate.”


 
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Southern Adventist University, Tennessee, USA, BAW 2011

Southern Adventist University, Tennessee, USA, BAW 2011

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BAW Campaign Headquarters

The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives
505 Fifth Avenue, Sixth Floor
New York, New York 10017
Tel: +1 212 401-1689
Email: bawinfo@dana.org 

Kathleen M. Roina

Campaign Director
E-mail: kroina@dana.org

Simon Fischweicher
Campaign Coordinator
E-mail: sfischweicher@dana.org


Kathleen and Simon at the BioBus, BAW 2013.