It’s Brain Awareness Week! Where to go, what to read, what to do

If you read our blog, you’re sure to know that this week is Brain Awareness Week! Coordinated by the Dana Foundation, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

This year, hundreds of events are planned worldwide; check out the Dana Alliance’s International Calendar of Events to look for activities in your area. For our New York readers, be sure to also visit the braiNY website for family lab fairs and workshops, as well as lectures and storytelling. Our staff will be reporting on a number of the New York events on this blog, so stay tuned.

The Dana Foundation homepage this week features special BAW interviews and announcements. Every day, we’ll be posting a new BAW partner interview, which offer great tips on planning science-based events. Today’s Q&A is with Andrea Schierkolk, public programs manager for the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Maryland, which collaborates with universities, government agencies, and hospitals to present a week-long brain-centric program for middle school students. Of the many fun and creative interactive activities, the perpetual favorite is “The Drunken Brain,” presented by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Students hold real brain specimens at the NMHM’s 2012 BAW program. (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine)

Also on the homepage are links to news articles highlighting events across the country, as well as the announcement of the winners of our Design a Brain Experiment competition. This year’s winners came from the same school—the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA—and were supervised by science teacher Dr. Jennifer Brakeman III. First place winner Charltien Long proposes to test the effectiveness of acteylcholinesterase inhibitors in treating hallucinations in schizophrenia on both a clinical and neurobiological level. Runner-up Jourdan Meltzer proposes to map the development of myelin-generating neural progenitor cells. Both students are seniors and clearly very ambitious. Great job!

To stay up-to-date on BAW announcements this week, visit the BAW Facebook page, and follow the conversation on Twitter with #brainweek.

– Ann L. Whitman

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