Brains Rule! Neuroscience Expositions, funded through a National Institute on Drug Abuse Science Education Drug Abuse Partnership Award, has developed a successful model for informal neuroscience education. Each Exposition is a "reverse science fair" in which neuroscientists present short neuroscience teaching modules to students. This study focuses on results of assessments conducted with neuroscientist presenters during Expositions at two sites, Atlanta, Georgia and Corpus Christi, Texas. The effects of participating in the Expositions on presenters' perceptions of their own presentation and communication skills were evaluated, as was the potential for increased active participation by neuroscientists in future outreach programs. In four of the five Expositions studied, pre- versus post-event surveys demonstrated significant changes in presenters' perceptions of their own abilities to explain neuroscience concepts to children. Over the course of an Exposition, presenters learned to fit their approaches to conveying neuroscience concepts to fifth through eighth graders and learned to link information they presented about the brain and nervous system to children's past experiences to improve comprehension. The present data suggest that Brains Rule! Neuroscience Expositions are effective in improving communication and teaching skills among neuroscience professionals and contribute to professional stewardship by increasing motivation to participate in future informal education programs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)