This year there are seven countries in Asia and the Middle East taking part in Brain Awareness Week (BAW): Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Russia, India, and Malaysia. By far, Turkey and India are the most active participants among these countries. They have 56 events planned between the two of them.
BAW participation and programming in Turkey is incredibly wide-ranging, from traditional lab tours and lectures for students to more unusual events like Brain Rap contests, and everything in between. In a number of elementary schools across the country, students will be coloring brains, talking about the brain while learning English, making brain magazines, creating brain puppet shows, and even building brains from watermelons and spaghetti. One the largest BAW events in Turkey is the Turkish National Brain Bee. Besides the actual competition, this event will include neuroscience lectures by professors, lab visits, and several take-home publications.
India has also had a growing interest in BAW. Similar to Turkey, the events are geared for a range of audiences and take various approaches to raising awareness. The colleges and universities in India have planned lectures for all levels, from talks to the general public and to younger students regarding traffic safety and head injuries to conferences on the complexities of Parkinson’s disease. There are also lab and hospital visits planned, where interaction between the general public and doctors and scientists will be facilitated and encouraged. One example of the effort to encourage awareness of brain health is a public lecture at an old age home in Irinjalakuda, where brain awareness booklets in the local language of Malayalam will be distributed.
Other BAW celebrations on the Asian continent include a full day of brain awareness activities in Israel in Arabic and English at a high school in Acre. In Russia, university and high school students in St. Petersburg will present their findings from a few different experiments. And in the UAE, a professor from Harvard University will team up with the Director of a Dubai-based group to conduct a free, interactive talk for the public on the brain and learning.
Tomorrow, find out what BAW events are happening in Australia! And please visit the International Calendar if you’re interested in finding other events or starting your own in your town.