Brain Awareness Week (BAW) has finally arrived, and brain-related festivities are kicking off all over the world! Getting an early start, the BioBus pulled over in New York City’s bustling neighborhood of Harlem this past Saturday. Crowds gathered around the display tables stationed outside of the repurposed, 1970s school bus and climbed up the stairs into the mobile science laboratory. braiNY volunteers passed out Dana Foundation publications and brain-shaped materials at one table, while the other table had diagrams, plasticine models, and microscope slides of parts of real brains. At a glance, one could easily overlook the fluid-filled containers resting on the table. But upon closer inspection, it became clear that those containers held whole, human brains!
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 20th anniversary of Brain Awareness Week! We are always inspired by our partners’ creativity and thrilled by the growing interest in neuroscience around the world. This year we had more than 740 registered events in 50 countries and 41 US states (plus Puerto Rico), whose outreach programs reached hundreds of thousands of people. After last week’s busy (and fun!) schedule, it’s nice to take a moment to reflect on some of the highlights from Brain Awareness Week 2015.
To kick off the week, we announced our two winners of this year’s Design a Brain Experiment competition for US high school students. Of the many ambitious and creative submissions we received, projects by Moie Uesugi and Christian Gonzalez were awarded first and second place, respectively. Uesugi, a senior at Bard High School Early College Queens in New York City, proposed a new treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Gonzalez, a freshman homeschooled student from Harvest, Alabama, focused on a cure for multiple sclerosis. I see bright futures for both these students! Continue reading
On March 19th, I visited the Biobase, located in the Lower Eastside Girls Club Center for Community in New York. The Biobase is a science lab that offers after-school and summer programs for young girls interested in science. For Brain Awareness Week, the base set up several hands-on science experiments, including the one I tried that required me to put on goggles that turned my vision upside-down. The challenge was to walk in a line that zig-zags. Another project involved the girls working together to build a neuron, which was then displayed at the event.