Neuroscience Education Initiatives

The Dana Alliance is committed to educating teachers and students about neuroscience as a means of raising awareness and sparking a greater interest in neuroscience at an earlier age and to inspire the next generation of neuroscientists. By integrating neuroscience in the classroom, today's students are provided with a solid base of knowledge of the brain and brain research.

The Alliance's neuroscience education initiatives include developing pilot programs and/or partnering with other organizations in existing programs by providing tools for teachers and students to learn about the brain and brain research. This effort includes, but is not limited to implementation of teacher and/or student workshops; providing teaching tools and other curricula supplements; distribution of Dana Foundation and Alliance publications; and access to scientific experts.

Although the primary focus of the Alliance's neuroeducation effort is aimed at the middle school, high school, and post-secondary level for both teachers and students, young students in grades K-8 as well as people in upper age demographics are reached through Brain Awareness Week and other Alliance and Foundation programs and projects.

Dana Brain Science Educator Initiatives

The New York Hall of Science was awarded a grant from the Dana Foundation to support the Dana Brain Science Educator Series. The program is designed to train Kindergarten through fourth grade teachers (Dana Fellows) to develop curricula on the brain and brain research appropriate for the standards and requirements of their grade level. Dana Fellows learn about the topic in a lecture from an expert in that field. Their curriculum also includes a visit to an applicable neuroscience facility; attending workshops on classroom-based investigations in neuroscience and development and presentation of lesson plans developed by the Fellows and eventually used in their classroom teaching. Dana Fellows act as mentors to all subsequent participants in this program. Previous Foundation grants to the New York Hall of Science for similar programs were targeted to middle and high school teachers.

Resources for Teachers and Students

 Lesson Plans from Dana Brain Science Educator Series

Brain-related lesson plans developed by Dana Fellows, middle and high school teacher participants in the Dana Brain Science Educator Series, are now available online at (quick registration required.) In addition to the lessons, teachers can join a social network for dialogues with previous and current Dana Fellows; view photos from sessions; find brain-related resources such as videos and podcasts, and learn about upcoming brain events in the New York metropolitan area. Due to the large number of lesson plans developed over the past several years, they will be categorized by grade level and theme and be rotated on a predetermined cycle.

 Interviews with Dana Alliance Members and Other Eminent Neuroscientists Available on Society for Neuroscience Web site

Pioneers in brain research have made significant advances in the field of neuroscience that have shown the potential for conquering devastating diseases and disorders of the brain that afflict many millions of people worldwide.

A collection of video interviews with many of these distinguished neuroscientists are available online in the Society for Neuroscience’s (SfN) History of Neuroscience in Autobiography  series. The SfN also offers a five-volume book series of autobiographical chapters on pioneers in neuroscience.

 Lending Library

DABI's "Lending Library" program is a collaboration with university neuroscience departments. Started in late 2004, brain and neuron models, posters, etc. are provided to university departments for post docs and instructors to use in outreach education in their community, usually classroom instruction in local schools.

 More about Lending Library »

 New York City Regional Brain Bee

Each year, in celebration of Brain Awareness Week, the Dana Alliance coordinates The New York City Regional Brain Bee Competition in New York City. The Brain Bee is a live competition that tests the neuroscience knowledge of high school students. The first place winner of the New York City Bee is eligible to compete in the United States National Brain Bee at the University of Maryland, a highlight event during Brain Awareness Week.

 More about the NYC Regional Brain Bee »

 Wired to Win

 Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France, a Giant Screen IMAX film that premiered in December 2005 is the centerpiece of an ambitious, multi-component project designed to generate new enthusiasm for science and stimulate a popular understanding of brain biology. Dana Alliance member Dennis J. Selkoe, M.D., served as one of the film’s science advisors, and the Alliance has supported promotional and outreach efforts for the film.

 More about Wired to Win

 The Secret Life of the Brain

The Dana Alliance was a sponsor of The Secret Life Of The Brain, a five-part public television series that premiered nationally on PBS in winter 2002. The critically acclaimed David Grubin Production reveals the fascinating processes involved in brain development across a lifetime. The series informs viewers of exciting new information in the brain sciences, introduces the foremost researchers in the field, including several Dana Alliance members, and utilizes dynamic visual imagery and compelling human stories to help a general audience understand otherwise difficult scientific concepts. The Alliance played an instrumental role in promoting the series through grassroots outreach.

 More about The Secret Life of the Brain