Brain Awareness Week
(BAW) is a international effort started by the Dana Alliance for Brain
Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to
promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. The official
week for the next BAW is March 12-18, 2012, but any time
is a good time to get involved.
To start the Open House, students were led by Dr. Eric
Chudler through an interactive, multimedia "Brain Assembly" to learn about
the nervous system. The students learn about neurotransmission, compared
the brains of different animals and played with some visual illusions.
Students then visited exhibits set up by University of Washington
departments and other organizations. Students were connected to a
transcranial Doppler machine to measure their brain blood flow (UW Dept.
of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine). The Neurobiology and Behavior
Community Outreach Program had exhibits to test the senses and materials
to build neuron models. The Pacific Science Center provided many exhibits
that they bring out to schools. The DO-IT program, UW Department of
Otolaryngology, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, Northwest
Association for Biomedical Research, Western Washington University
Department of Psychology, Department UW Chapter of Unite for Sight, UW
Department of Biology, Youth Take Heart program and Seattle Hydrocephalus
Support Group also provided exhibits.
Scenes from the Open House
Planaria exhibit (stem cells)
Peripheral vision presentation
Doppler brain blood flow
Comparative neuroanatomy display
Spinner question (with slinky prize)
"Magic" water illusion
I had a great time at the Brain Awareness Day Exhibition at the
MOHAI Museum! There was so much to do, and all the activities were
I had a great time at the Brain Awareness Day Exhibit, and I
really appreciate all of the hard work that you must have put into
it. It was so much fun, and there was so much to see, and I can't
thank you enough.
Back at school this morning we had time to share what we learned or
enjoyed, and students came up with long lists in both categories.
Actually the lists overlapped. What a fun way to experience learning. We
all greatly appreciate your work and the efforts of the many people
involved in putting this together. I'm excited to pursue the contacts I
made for getting more science in our classroom (after the MSP!). More
than a few students are considering careers in science thanks to the seeds
planted by BAW.
The exhibits, students, doctors, and staff were all extremely
informative and exciting! The students, chaperones, and I had a lovely
afternoon of learning.
The open house really heightened student awareness about the brain,
what it can do, and how we use our brains.
Students were exposed to ways of thinking
and ideas to ponder that wouldn't generally come up in our classroom. They
were excited about the hands-on activities and many are talking about
careers in science.
As an educator I was excited to make connections with resources in the
sciences that I didn't know existed. I now know who to contact about
borrowing activity kits that teach about healthy hearts and who to call
about having a guest scientist speaker come to our class.
My students enjoyed this experience. They usually end up
leaving with more confidence in understanding the brain and more questions
The hands-on component of all of the
demonstrations were extremely beneficial for the students. These types of
exhibits are not only informative, but they piqued the curiosity of the
students in unparalleled ways.
The kids LOVED the hands-on activities!! It was the perfect opening
activity to our unit on the human body - starting, of course, with the
brain and nervous system!
Thank you for offering this trip as a free trip! Schools are having a
hard time finding educational field trips these days that are affordable
and this was a terrific opportunity in a financial sense and in an
Having to pay only for our bus transportation was a huge plus for our
fifth graders since many of our families need scholarships for field
I was thoroughly impressed by the students, volunteers, and doctors
who lead each station. Each individual was informative and helpful in
Thank you very much for this unique, important, and awesome trip!
A day very well-spent! My kids unanimously voted that I apply to take
my class again next year! I already have it in my notes for next year! The
smiles on their faces were priceless! Every one of them could tell me two
things they learned - some could have told me much more than that!