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Community Outreach

Middle School & High School Initiatives

Pathways to Science

Pathways to Science is a partnership between the city of New Haven and Yale University (including the Department of Neuroscience) to provide extracurricular STEM opportunities to New Haven students from 6-12th grade.

INP Outreach

The INP Outreach Program welcomes middle and high school student groups for school field trips to Yale. Students explore neuroscience on campus through lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and a tour of the Cushing center, all led by current graduate students. For inquiries, contact Kathy Zhang.

Brain Education Day / Brain Education Week

Brain Education Day is an annual (nationwide) all-day event in March that in partnership with Yale Pathways to Science and the Dana Foundation Brain Awareness week,welcomes students from local New Haven Public Schools to Yale to learn about an array of neuroscience subjects. Students participating in this event (typically 80-100 middle and high school students) rotate through four stations, led by Yale graduate students and faculty, to learn about different aspects of the brain and neuroscience research through hands-on activities and facility tours. For inquiries, contact Kathy Zhang.

Science Cafe

At the Science Cafe , scientists from Yale present their research in 10min TED-style talks targeted at a middle school audience. The talks encompass the scientist’s pathway into science, passion for their field, and ongoing research endeavors.

Flipped Science Fair

The Flipped Science Fair is where middle school student judges evaluate graduate students and postdocs presenting their current research. Middle school students learn about cutting-edge research from real Yale scientists in a small group setting, with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and participate in hands-on demonstrations. The presenters learn how to tailor their research pitch to a general audience, with emphasis on keeping things exciting, understandable, and relevant.

Sensory Physiology Club

The mission of Sensory Physiology Club is to promote scientific education in human and animal physiology among schoolchildren from middle- and high schools. Most of our trainees are from Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts schools. To invite the students, we contact the schools directly or via an established collaboration with the Yale Pathways to Science and SCHOLAR programs, who also help us to monitor long-term impact of our program. Our activities are year-around and are subdivided in intramural and extramural teaching and educational sessions (currently, ~30-40 academic hours per year). During each session, we undertake a multicomponent approach, which includes several lectures weaved around engaging experimental activities. We focus on basic aspects of physiology, with an emphasis on sensory physiology: the sense of temperature, the sense of mechanical touch, taste, vision, audition and olfaction. We also cover captivating experimental approaches: electrophysiology, infrared imaging, sensory perception paradigms, EEG and others. Our sessions aim to spark interest in biological science through lectures and interactive experimental activities, which go beyond the standard science curricula of most schools. Lectures from our sessions are recorded and made available on YouTube.

Exploring Science with Yale Scientists

Exploring Science with Yale Scientists is a weekly virtual event hosted by Yale Open Labs and Flipped Science Fair for middle school students featuring 1) a Flipped Science Fair presentation in which a scientist from Yale presents their research; 2) a Science Café presentation which is a short talk by Yale scientists about their pathway into science and research topic, facilitated by INP students.

General Public Initiatives

Science in the News

One of our oldest initiatives, Science in the News, brings science to the general public in the form of an annual lecture series held at public libraries in the New Haven area. Graduate students and postdocs deliver talks on current topics in science, ranging from the microbiome to the feasibility of a real-life Jurassic Park. Reading materials and a vibrant Q&A session further engage attendees in discussion.

Science @ BAR

Science @ BAR brings together pizza, beer, and science talks by grad students and postdocs to allow for public engagement with science in an informal setting. Come for the drinks – stay for the science... and prizes!

Science Haven

Science Haven is a collaboration between Open Labs, Yale Science Diplomats, and New Haven neighborhood leaders, designed to embed researchers more deeply in their neighborhoods through hands-on science demos at community gatherings, farmers markets, and similar events. Through attending neighborhood leadership meetings and connecting with families where they are, we aim to inspire students to pursue a career in science, allow adults to see scientists as approachable, and facilitate relationships on a personal level to begin breaking down systemic barriers between academia and the public. By putting a face to the lab coat, we hope to foster a sense of trust between residents and their neighborhood scientific community.