Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is an international initiative begun by the Society of Neuroscience and the Dana Alliance in 1996 to further the public's understanding of Neuroscience. The Brain Awareness Week program is a collaborative effort between private schools, research institutions and health organizations across the country.
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities and The University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth have been active partners in this effort since 1996 and have developed one of the most visible programs in the country. Neuroscience Faculty, Students from the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, U of MN affiliated staff and faculty and staff from Macalester College in St. Paul volunteer their time to make this event happen.
The focus in Minnesota has been on reaching fifth and sixth grade school children in the Seven County Metro area and greater Minnesota and teaching them about the brain and the nervous system. Since 1996, BAW presentations have been given to over 130,000 students. Each year, different school districts are targeted (School Schedule).
In addition to elementary school children, the BAW program is proud to sponsor the Brain Bee, a neuroscience based competition for high-school aged students (ninth thru twelfth) each year.
BAW 2021 Wrap
Brain Awareness Week 2021 celebrated brain research across the Twin Cities campus, and what a celebration it was! We had open lab meetings, neural networking hours, resume writing workshops, and Anita Randolph rocked an interview about her path to neuroscience research and why she thinks it’s so important to keep our community engaged with all aspects of research. Thank you, Anita!
Our inaugural Poetry and Art Contests were a great deal of fun. Winners are displayed here. Mari Gades’ poem “Alzheimer’s” won the poetry contest. Jennifer Valiarovski’s “Electrical Monkey Business” entry won the 12-18 age category; Laurel Schuck’s “Astrocytes and Muller Cells” won in the 18+ category.
A big thank you is owed to the following people (in order of appearance):