Brain Awareness Week & Kentucky Science Center Outreach

BAW: Part of the international effort sponsored by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives; KSC: The Kentucky Science Center provides science outreach and education for children and adults


Traditionally scheduled during university Spring Break week, SFN chapters globally participate in public outreach activities to educate various groups about neuroscience. Click here to see the international site (external link).

Brain Awareness Week activities of the Louisville Chapter of the SFN

We have put on BAW events at the University of Louisville for local high school students and their teachers since 2010. Activities include hands-on workshops with computerized neuroanatomy, comparative neuroanatomy, and histology.
BAW volunteer Dharti Patel inspects the plasticized human brain display while Dr. Jeff Petruska answers questions for students exploring the human neuroanatomy software program developed at the University of Louisville by Drs. John Pani and Julia Chariker.
BAW volunteer Jeff Marschall helps participants find neurons on their microscope slides.
Dr. Cynthia Corbitt demonstrating brain anatomical position in the comparative neuroanatomy workshop.

Kentucky Science Center Partnership with Louisville SFN

Under the direction of Dr. Kris Rau, our chapter has expanded our outreach efforts to include a partnership with the Kentucky Science Center (KSC).
  • NanoDays. Held in the Kentucky Science Center BioLab over two weekends in April, 2015, our group provided visitors with many interactive opportunities to experience neuroscience.In our comparative neuroanatomy module, brains from mice, rats, sheep and humans were shown, and members of our group highlighted the similarities and differences in structure and function. Other histology-based modules showed different levels of the spinal cord and different structures of the brain, as well as tissues of the body that are innervated by the peripheral nervous system. Microscopy slides, combined with anatomical models, PowerPoint visual aids, visual diagrams, and the knowledge and exuberance of our volunteers enhanced the experience for everyone who visited these modules. For the younger visitors, we provided crayons, and brain and neuron coloring sheets. A total of 4400 kids and adults visited the Kentucky Science Center over the six days of the event. Twenty-four members of the Louisville Chapter of SfN volunteered a total of 156.5 hours.
  • Louisville Youth Science Summit ( Held on Saturday, July 25, 2015, our group participated in a speed mentoring session, and presented an interactive talk and demonstration of nervous system function. Over 40 middle and high school students attended the talks. By a show of hands, nearly all of the students indicated that this was their very first exposure to the field of neuroscience!
  • Scientific Proofs ( An adult science seminar series that is held once per month at a local pub, the Goodwood Brewing Company. On August 11, 2015, Louisville SFN Chapter members David Magnuson and Kris Rau presented a talk titled, “Of Mice and Men: The bench to bedside efforts to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injury.”