Brain Awareness Day is a fun “science fair” held by the Neuroscience department at Orpheum Children’s Science Museum every year for the local community during late spring. It is part of the global campaign of Brain Awareness Week, which is designed to increase public awareness of brain research and recent scientific advancements. Everyone in the Neuroscience department from all levels of academia (undergraduate, graduate students, postdoctoral, faculty, and researchers) work together to educate the public about their brains and the neurological sciences.
Beginning in the early 2000s, the day was started by then-Director Gene Robinson as a way to communicate with the public about neuroscience research and the impact it had on their lives. Since then, the event has grown vastly to hundreds of people of all ages attending each year and is now a fixture of the local Champaign-Urbana community. While nothing surprised the Neuroscience Program about the progression of the event, the Program continues to be impressed by the creativity and quality put forth by the graduate students. The Program is most proud of the community impact it has had and continues to provide.
During this event, people of all ages can learn about brain science through fun interactive activities and exhibitions such as booths that trick the brain and test perception (color, smell, etc.), view and hold various animal brains, build neurons, and interact with researchers.
The next Brain Awareness Day will be on April 18, 2020.