Neurosci Outreach News


A long time Officer, Sean Georgi, graduates

Sat, October 1st, 2011

It makes me feel uneasy when someone mentions the three co-founders of N&B Outreach. That's because if Sean Georgi started his graduate study a few months earlier, he would have been one of the founders, too. In fact, Sean was our first recruit and an Officer from day one.

Since joining the group in 2006, Sean has volunteered and taught K-12 students at numerous neuroscience outreach events including UW Brain Awareness Week (BAW) Open House, Life Sciences Research Weekend, and UW Health Sciences Open House. Furthermore, he has organized and participated in many classroom visits at local elementary and middle schools (Sean currently holds the all-time record for participating in the most number of events at 31). One of the exhibits that Sean implemented and perfected was the visual illusions. In the visual illusions exhibit, a wide array of illusions was shown to kids and he discussed how our brain can be tricked to see objects that are really not present or moving. His exhibit consistently drew awe from the kids.

In 2007, Sean and others have registered our then a small group into an official Registered Student Organization (RSO), a move that has since brought many benefits. As an example, the BAW Open House '07 and '08 expanded 133% and 200% in capacity, respectively, partly due to an expanded space made affordable through the RSO's discount on room rentals. In fact, back then, majority of the expenses towards room rental for the Open House was paid for by the grants that were awarded to Sean. The award helped admit hundreds of more local K-12 students to this popular event.

Sean convinced me that it is not only important to reach out to the public, but to encourage our peers to do the same with us. Sean demonstrated this belief by example -- by sharing his outreach experience with his colleagues at numerous meetings, including the Annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Meeting, BAW Meeting, annual graduate program retreat, the SfN Pacific Cascade Chapter Meeting, and the SfN Outreach Social (which he co-founded).

One of Sean's collaborative efforts was to create a collection of lesson plans that can be used by K-12 teachers to teach neuroscience concepts in their own classrooms. Since the initial release at the Neuroscience Meeting in the fall of 2007, over 10,000 copies were downloaded from our website. These lesson plans can help K-12 teachers prepare their classes to cover topics on neuroscience in an interactive manner.

During the five years of his membership, Sean has participated in numerous outreach events, brought crucial changes to the operation of the organization, and helped raise awareness about doing outreach to his colleagues. Sean has presented three posters on behalf of the N&B Outreach at various conferences, and was a recipient of the inaugural Hope Heart Institute Neuroscience Education Award for Travel in 2008. Sean served as the Treasurer for Pacific Cascade Chapter of the SfN from 2010-2011.