Everyday Neuroscience Newsletter

Fall 2022 & Spring 2023:  Everyday Neuroscience continued its collaboration with Paul Robeson High School in both fall and spring semesters.   The partnership was honored with the 2022 Provost-Netter Award for community partnerships.  The course benefited from the participation of Erin Purvis, a neuroscience graduate student and recipient of the Provost Graduate Academic Engagement Fellowship.   As part of her fellowship, we created a graduate version of Everyday Neuroscience, called Research in the Urban Curriculum, offered by the Biomedical Graduate Studies program and offered for the first time in the Spring 2023.

Fall 2021 & Spring 2022: Both Penn and Robeson resumed in-person instruction.  A new feature was holding our lab activities on Penn’s campus rather than at Robeson.  The high school students enjoyed the exposure to a college campus, and attendance was very high.  Penn and Robeson students benefited from working in consistent small groups, which allowed better personal connections.  Everyday Neuroscience was conducted in tandem with math tutoring, providing wrap-around STEM support for these 10th graders.

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021: The Penn student-designed  lab activities were overhauled to be conducted virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Ten weekly zoom sessions were attended regularly by a cohort of Robeson 10th graders.  The virtual setting provided the impetus for streamlined communication, deeper participation, and activities that could develop relevant internet skills.

Spring 2020: The weekly activities with Robeson students were disrupted by COVID-19, and the course was modified for the Penn students to focus on the role of neuroscience research in community engagement.

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, & Fall 2020: The course remained at Robeson, moving to the morning to improve high school student participation by removing the conflict with afternoon sports.  By running both semesters, the entire 10th grade was included.

Spring 2018: Everyday Neuroscience began a strong connection with Robeson High School, focusing on 10th grade biology.  A practical advantage of the Robeson partnership is the ability to easily walk to Robeson from Penn’s campus.  A group of high school students co-taught “Synaptic Land” at Penn’s Kids Judge Neuroscience to 3rd graders.

Spring 2017: Everyday Neuroscience expanded to partner with both West Philadelphia High School and Sayre High School 10th grade biology.  The practice of consistent small teaching groups was established.

Spring 2016: Everyday Neuroscience was begun in partnership with West Philadelphia High School.  The format of 10 weekly Penn student-designed lab activities was implemented and has persisted.