Brain Sciences Will Be in the Spotlight During 12th Annual Brain Awareness Week at the National Museum of Health and Medicine

February 14, 2011, Washington, D.C.: Approximately 850 area middle school students will fill the National Museum of Health and Medicine as they learn about traumatic brain injuries, brain anatomy, and more during the Museum's upcoming 12th annual Brain Awareness Week. Brain Awareness Week at NMHM is produced in conjunction with the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

Brain Awareness Week activities will take place at the Museum, located in Washington, D.C., over the course of five days -- March 14-18, 2011. After a brief introductory lecture about brain anatomy, students will rotate through hands-on activity stations to learn about different brain functions, influences on the brain and brain disorders. Those activity stations are managed by the Museum's Partners in Education (listed below):

Examples of hands-on activities include:

  • NIDA Brain Derby: Guided by staff from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, students are divided into two teams and compete to answer questions on how abused drugs act in the brain and body. The winners will receive a "Brain Scientist" certificate.
  • Brain Pain: Communicating After Brain Injury: The Speech-Language Pathology Clinic at Walter Reed Army Medical Center will teach students about how traumatic brain injuries impact speech through a collaborative hands-on activity involving no verbal communication.
  • Brain Basics- What You Need to Know to Prevent Brain Injury: Using a gelatin brain mold, Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital will teach students about general neuroanatomy and how traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) affect different parts of the brain.

Brain Awareness Week 2011 Partners in Education


National Brain Awareness Week programs were first established by the Dana Alliance in 1996, linking scientists, clinicians, journalists, and other educators in an annual effort to raise public awareness about the brain and brain science. In 2000, Dana joined forces with NMHM to develop a program designed especially for middle school students. Brain Awareness Week has helped instill a sense of excitement of science, while bringing awareness and understanding of current research and its translation into clinical practice to young audiences.

About the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives

The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a nonprofit organization of more than 265 leading neuroscientists, is committed to advancing public awareness about the progress and promise of brain research and to disseminating information on the brain in an understandable and accessible fashion. Supported entirely by the Dana Foundation, the Dana Alliance does not fund research or make grants.

Media Availability

Media representatives are invited to cover Brain Awareness Week activities. Advance notice is required to allow for proper security processing.

Contact Melissa Brachfeld, NMHM Public Affairs Specialist, phone (202) 782-2671

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