The NGG, in cooperation with MINS, is involved in several community outreach and partnership activities in the Philadelphia area. Many NGG students volunteer to participate in and help to organize these events, providing professional development opportunities beyond the classroom and laboratory.
The Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair is a national educational program designed to make scientists better communicators and elementary-school children better scientists. Universities and other institutions across the country organize and host this unique twist on the traditional science fair, in which faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates present their science projects – and the judges are third and fourth graders. The Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair is sponsored by the Biological Basis of Behavior Program, the Mahoney Institute for Neurological Science, the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, the Provost's Interdisciplinary Seminar Fund and the National Kids Judge! Fair Program. NGG students volunteer to develop ideas for demonstrations, organize and staff demonstrations and booths, and help with other fair-related jobs. This year's Kids Judge! Neuroscience Fair was held on Monday, December 5, 2011.
The Regional Brain Bee is part of the national Brain Bee, a college bowl-style competition for high school students, organized by the Society for Neuroscience. The Penn Brain Bee is open to Philadelphia-area high school students who want to learn about the brain. NGG students mentor high school student participants, select topics, and write questions based on the SfN's publication Brain Facts. NGG Faculty moderate the event. The winner of the Penn event goes on to compete at the National Brain Bee, held in Washington, D.C. This year's Penn Brain Bee was held on Saturday, February 4, 2012.
The Upward Bound Neuroscience Course is part of Penn's High School Upward Bound Program, a college preparatory program designed to motivate and prepare students for the successful pursuit of a four-year college education. Our Course uses neuroscience and learning about the brain as a platform to increase excitement and interest in scientific study . The Course is given over a six-week period in the summer. NGG students develop the curriculum and other activities and teach each two-hour class designed to introduce a fundamental neuroscience concept. By the end of the course, students have an increased understanding of principles of brain function, how research in neuroscience is conducted, and the role of neuroscience research in curing neurological and psychiatric diseases.