BAW Across the Continents 2012: North America

We've been celebrating Brain Awareness Week by highlighting events taking place across the globe: in Africa, Asia, and Australia. Today, we take a look at North America.  

North America

North America, with nearly 500 registered events, has the most of any continent. Events have been submitted to the BAW International Calendar from five countries: Canada, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti.

Many schools, universities, and research and outreach organizations in Canada have become very active BAW partners. The local and national Brain Bees are a major part of brain awareness and education in Canada. However, the country also has countless talks, conferences, and seminars planned for seniors as well as students of all ages. Additionally, lab tours and visits will be conducted at universities throughout the country to educate and inspire high school students as well as the public about the promise of neuroscience. Talks will range from topics of successful aging, exercise, and brain health to early neurological development and just about everything in between. In Deschambeault Lake and Prince Albert, “Brain Walks” will be held for school children. Students will learn about the brain by walking through an interactive exhibit in which different stations represent different areas of the brain.

Brain Awareness Week is very popular in the United States. There are BAW events registered in 42 states, including Hawaii, and there are over 400 American events in total. There are all kinds of partner organizations in the U.S. involved in educating the public and promoting awareness about the brain. These include senior centers, pharmacies, public schools, universities, outreach and research groups, hospitals, museums, and libraries.

Some events feature traditional lectures while others employ more unusual techniques for raising brain awareness. Universities in California will host interactive lab tours for public school students while a library in Vermont will screen the Dana Alliance’s “Staying Sharp” DVD for local residents. In New York City, a dance company plans to host a range of performances and educational activities exploring the psychological aspects of dance. In Texas, an elementary school art class will be creating art that celebrates the beauty and power of the brain. There are countless more events and activities.

Mexico is also an active nation during Brain Awareness Week. There will be classic awareness activities such as open lab tours at universities for students and the general public. College students will also be traveling to schools to talk about neuroscience. There will be sports and theater contests related to the brain as well. One of the more creative approaches to brain awareness in Mexico will be two brain information poster exhibits in the Juarez and San Juan de Dios public transportation stations in Guadalajara City.

Finally, in Haiti, health professionals will work together to organize activities for teachers, students, and the general public to focus on rebuilding Haiti. As part of this rebuilding process these health professionals will engage the public about brain health and mental health awareness. This event will occur after March 18th, but the coordinators of the event believe that their goals overlap with those of the Brain Awareness Week campaign.

Tomorrow, find out what BAW events are happening in South America! And please visit the International Calendar if you’re interested in finding other events or starting your own in your town. 

–Simon Fischweicher

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