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 2019

This year we celebrated Brain Awareness Week from March 9–17 with 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 took place at sites across NYU, with our annual Brain Day taking place on March 12. 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.

Drawing and the Brain—March 11, 2019

The Neuroscience Institute and the Master Scholars Program in Humanistic Medicine presented the opportunity to explore the beautiful complexity of the brain through drawing with artist-in-residence Laura Fergurson. Sessions were free and open to all NYU affiliates.

Community Brain Fair—March 12, 2019

Brain Day is the flagship event for the Neuroscience Institute and NOGN. The 7th Annual NYU Community Brain Fair took place on March 12 in the Science Building, 435 East 30th Street, at NYU Langone. People of all ages experienced our interactive exhibits on the five senses, neurons, the brain and aging, disease models, and brain myths. We also had activities and a crafts station for children and invited them to hop aboard the BioBus, a fully equipped mobile science lab for high-tech, hands-on scientific exploration that was parked on 30th Street.

NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology, Child Study Center, Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, and Concussion Center, as well as other programs integrated with neuroscience, hosted tables at the fair and provided information about the exciting clinical work taking place here.

Successful Aging and Your Brain—March 12, 2019

In collaboration with the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, clinicians and researchers from NYU Langone’s Center for Cognitive Neurology presented a two-hour panel discussion, “Successful Aging and Your Brain.” Participants learned more about brain health and disease and left equipped with tips to age successfully and the tools to be “brain advocates.”

A Lot on the Mind—Parkinson’s, Movement, and Dance—March 13, 2019

NOGN and braiNY, in conjunction with experts from the Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, presented an evening of educational activities focusing on Parkinson’s disease, movement, and dance. A Lot on the Mind is a series exploring the scientific basis of brain disorders and the experiences and talents of patients.

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