Neuroscience Institute Public Outreach & Science Education | NYU Langone Health

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Neuroscience Institute & the Community Neuroscience Institute Public Outreach & Science Education

Neuroscience Institute Public Outreach & Science Education

At the Neuroscience Institute, our researchers and staff recognize the importance of bringing the excitement of scientific inquiry from our labs to local communities. Through the Neuroscience Outreach Group at NYU (NOGN), we partner with local schools and community organizations to host educational events that celebrate the brain and explain how neuroscience can unlock its many mysteries. With more than 100 scientist volunteers, NOGN has reached more than 1,000 students and their families since it was founded in 2011.

VIDEO: Volunteers at last year’s Brain Day explain the importance of sharing their work with the public. Please join us next spring when we bring more exciting activities, research updates, and clinical programs to the NYU Langone community.

Brain Awareness Week 2018

March 7–14 was Brain Awareness Week, and NOGN hosted a series of events in conjunction with braiNY, the outreach arm of the Greater New York City chapter of the Society for Neuroscience; the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives; and other area institutions. The Neuroscience Institute is a key player in planning braiNY events throughout the city.

Brain Awareness Week events take place at sites across NYU, with our annual Brain Day taking place on March 13. Through a range of events, such as documentary screenings, free yoga classes, and lectures on health and the brain, we are proud to draw hundreds of visitors each year to NYU and our world-class neuroscience community.

Community Brain Fair—March 13, 2018

The Neuroscience Institute and NOGN host our flagship event, the community brain fair, from 2:00PM to 5:00PM in the Farkas Auditorium Breezeway at NYU Langone. People of all ages are welcome to experience our interactive exhibits on the five senses, neurons, the brain and aging, disease models, and brain myths. We have activities and a crafts station for children.

NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology and Concussion Center, as well as other programs integrated with neuroscience, host tables at the fair and provide information about the exciting clinical work taking place at NYU Langone.

Successful Aging and Your Brain—March 13, 2018

In collaboration with the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, clinicians and researchers from NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology present a 2-hour panel discussion, “Successful Aging and Your Brain,” from 2:00PM to 4:00PM in Alumni Hall B at NYU Langone Medical Center. Participants learn more about brain health and disease, leaving equipped with tips to age successfully and the tools to be “brain advocates.” In addition, this year we discuss caregiver issues.

Picturing the Brain—March 7, 2018

In conjunction with the exhibition “The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal,” we are hosting a hands-on workshop at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. At this event, participants follow in Cajal’s footsteps, viewing brain tissue samples through microscopes and rendering what they see. Led by Heather McKellar, PhD, Neuroscience Institute’s senior manager of education and outreach, this workshop is co-sponsored by the Neuroscience Institute, NYU Langone Health, and Grey Art Gallery.

At 6:00PM, a limited number of timed tickets will be available at the gallery’s front desk. This event is free of charge, but has a limited capacity and is subject to change. A photo ID is required to attend.

Classroom Visits

Throughout the year, NOGN visits classrooms so our researchers can share their scientific expertise with K–12 students around the city. NOGN volunteers design each presentation or workshop in conjunction with classroom teachers, introducing concepts such as the scientific method and the basics of the brain. For older students (ages 8 through 18), we’ve created lessons on learning and memory, diseases of the brain, neuroanatomy, and the senses.

To invite NOGN to your classroom or to find out more about the topics we cover, please fill out and submit our form for teachers.

Community Partnerships

NOGN is committed to bringing science and medicine to a diverse audience, and we’re proud to work with community programs that already have a structure in place. These partnerships enable us to have a big impact across a wide spectrum of target audiences.

Citizen Schools extends the school day for middle school students in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Harlem. NOGN volunteers have designed a 10-week curriculum for students participating in this program, bringing neuroscience to students who may otherwise not have a strong science, technology, engineering, and math education. It is also a teaching apprenticeship program, and our volunteers learn the basics of creating lesson plans and managing a classroom while forming bonds with students. Most importantly, the students gain an understanding that neuroscience is more than a set of facts in a textbook—it’s a way of asking questions about the brain and how it enables interaction with the world around us.

We also partner with other NYU Langone groups, such as the Science and Technology Entry Program, Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES), Rusk Rehabilitation, and the Center for Cognitive Neurology, and are actively involved in patient fairs, summer programs, and student visits throughout the year.

NOGN is also a platform for our volunteers to get involved with events throughout the city. NOGN and braiNY volunteers from other area institutions have hosted tables at the World Science Festival, held workshops at the American Museum of Natural History, and hosted hands-on events at the BioBus and BioBase.

Get Involved with Us

To learn more about NOGN, or to find out how you can get involved in our programs, contact Heather McKellar, PhD, senior manager of education and outreach at the Neuroscience Institute, at 212-263-9118 or