The Mahoney Institute of Neuroscience has been involved in community outreach programs since early in the 1990's - designated the "Decade of the Brain." It started with a faculty member and a few graduate students going out to local schools with a cart full of brain-science stuff like sheep's brains that the students could touch, a human brain in a jar that they could study, and other materials to experiment with. Science teachers were invited back to Penn to see demos of modules that they could incorporate into their classes. This approach was very popular with the participating schools, but it was difficult to reach large numbers of students.
Today MINS is active in a much broader range of community outreach and partnership activities in the Philadelphia area. Regular events include the Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair for elementary school students, the Regional Brain Bee for high school students, Brain Awareness Week activities at the Franklin Institute, and the Upward Bound Neuroscience Course for high school sophomores and juniors. These outreach activities are organized by the Graduate-Led Initiatives and Activities (GLIA) Committee of the Neuroscience Graduate Group (NGG), as described here.