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Brain Awareness Campaign

How to Get Involved

Brain Awareness Week is an opportunity to educate, promote, advocate for, and support brain science and research. Use these tools to make an impact and share your expertise.

Check out some sample BAW Activities and Projects:


  • University of Washington BAW Open House—The Department of Anesthesiology set up a transcranial Doppler machine so students could watch their brain blood flow. The UW EEG and Clinical Neurophysiology lab connected students to an EEG machine to record their brain waves.

  • Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Neuroscience Exposition at Zoo Atlanta—Seventh-graders from Atlanta public schools participated in a "reverse science fair," judging booths presented by neuroscientists.

  • Wayne State University and the Field Neuroscience Institute schools outreach—These organizations employed volunteers to call several schools and public libraries in the Detroit metro area to inform them about a BAW event, ask them to make an announcement to the students, and offering to send flyers for schools to post.

  • Tremor Action Network’s March issue of its quarterly newsletter dedicated to BAW—The newsletter featured articles about reducing the burden on brain disorders through public advocacy and a cartoon strip highlighting a California Congressman's fight against movement disorders budget cuts.

  • Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience Jelly Belly Donations—The center received a donation of free jelly beans from The Goetz Candy Co. for use in its interactive exhibit on the senses.


Educate

Promote

  • Get the word out.

    • Write an op-ed piece or letter to the editor about an important brain science issue.
    • Send out a press release about Brain Awareness Week.
    • Offer to speak to TV and radio media about BAW and brain science issues. (Read SfN's Tips for Media Interviews.)
    • Alert local schools to upcoming BAW events and encourage field trips to your event.
    • Post announcements on community calendars and at local businesses.
    • Present a poster of your activities at SfN's Annual Brain Awareness Campaign Event.
    • Ask your governor or mayor to issue a proclamation.

    Note: Incorporate the official BAW logo in your materials. See www.dana.org/brainweek.

Advocate

  • Inform policymakers and elected officials.

    • Invite local politicians — governor, state and federal legislators — to participate in Brain Awareness Week events. Emphasize the need for funding.
    • Meet with members of Congress to advocate for increased funding. Read SfN’s tips for meeting with legislators.
    • Write to your legislators. Read SfN’s tips for writing to legislators.
    • Seek opportunities to communicate with the public about successful brain research. Use the scientifically vetted articles on BrainFacts.org as support.
    • If you use animal models in your research, promote the promise of this research to policymakers. Review SfN's Animal Research Success Stories.
    • Work with an advocacy group in your area of interest. Many are eager to pair their experience with a scientist’s expertise. Invite a patient to speak with you and demonstrate the real-life effects of neurological disorders.
    • For more ideas, visit the Advocacy page.

Support

  • For a successful program, you need community support and sponsorships.

    • Work with your local SfN Chapter to apply for grants to fund Brain Awareness Week activities.
    • Seek corporate sponsorship from companies with a vested interest. Think about community members indirectly involved in brain safety and awareness, such as insurance agencies and pharmaceutical companies.
    • Ask for tangible donations: Bike helmets, books, and t-shirts about the brain can be given to Brain Awareness Week attendees.
    • Involve enthusiastic graduate students from local colleges and universities.
    • Leverage SfN resources for information: BrainFacts.org, the companion Brain Facts book, Neuroscience Core Concepts, and Educator Resources.
    • Build partnerships with your city or town's Chamber of Commerce, Council, or Rotary Club.

Get Creative

  • Celebrate brain awareness through music, dance, and art.

    • Organize a film festival at a local movie theater, science museum IMAX, or school auditorium featuring movies about the brain.
    • Develop clever graphics and audiovisual aids to explain the brain. Engage your audience with animated graphics, analogies using simpler systems, or hands-on activities.
    • Contact advocacy groups in your area to see if they have connections to patients with a brain disorder who are artists.
    • Arrange for student musicians to perform before a school-sponsored brain awareness lecture and tie their performance into a neuroscience topic like the effect of music on the brain.
    • Host a literary or fine art competition asking for artwork, poetry, or essays centered on themes of the brain, consciousness, or neurological disorders.
    • Ask your local library to organize a BAW display with books and reference material about the brain, or offer to set up your own display.

Contact SfN

If you have questions, email baw@sfn.org or
call 202-962-4000.

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