Simply Neuroscience

Simply Neuroscience: a non-profit that helps foster interdisciplinary interests in the brain through education, outreach, and awareness

Photo of Chinmayi Balusu
27 37

Written by

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

10/22/2002

Help us stay in touch!

916-461-3907 2221 Partridge Way Unit #1 Union City, CA 94587

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: https://simplyneuroscience.wixsite.com/official Instagram: @simply_neuroscience Twitter: @SimplyNeurosci1 LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/simply-neuroscience

Date You Started Your Project Started

05/30/2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Neuroscience and psychology are fields that have great diversity in the topics studied and are rapidly expanding. However, worldwide, many students aren’t given ample exposure to brain-related fields in school, even though the brain is essential to many interdisciplinary fields such as ethics, economics, law, art, and more. The potential for neuroscience and psychology is vast, but there are ultimately very few organizations for interested youth.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We will ease the gap between neuroscience and psychology in K-12 education and beyond while increasing these fields’ impacts on local to international levels. Writing and Editing members convey topics of their choice in any medium they choose to. Brain Resource Creation team members create study resources that will be available on our website soon! Our Research department works to match students with internships/first-hand experiences based on their interests. The Awareness department is working to help spread understanding of mental health and neurological conditions. The Legislation project is working on getting legislation regarding mental illness passed by Congress. The Outreach department is actively collaborating and organizing events such as the Minorities in STEM event in the Bay Area that showcase diversity in brain-related STEM fields. The Simply Neuroscience x GirlsGotSTEAM collaboration created lesson plans of introductory brain topics for minority and low-income students which will hopefully be used in elementary classrooms in the future! Our mentorship network connects high schoolers with undergrads who can provide career guidance and more.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

At a science fair booth, I’d taken the different parts of a brain model apart, only to realize that I had no clue how to put it back together. It was at this point that I had a sort of epiphany: there was a lot more to this three-pound, pink, rubber-like object inside my head than I imagined. From that point on, I wanted to learn all that I could about it, but I realized that it wasn’t something that I could pursue through school. Instead, I had to find ways to get more information about the brain on my own. At that point, I turned to reading biographies about neuroscience experts, online courses, and self-studying textbooks. My brain journey was a solitary one, and many times I wished I could have other students who also enjoyed learning about the brain that I could talk with. I decided to finally act on this feeling, which was when Simply Neuroscience came together.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Jess is a 15-year-old high schooler from Chicago who displays extreme intellectual curiosity but lives in a low-income neighborhood that lacks the resources to provide advanced STEM education. After searching the web to find more information about her passion, neuroscience, Jess comes across Simply Neuroscience’s Instagram. Jess looks into the brain resources available to her and learns about opportunities such as the Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for high schoolers. At first, she did not think she was capable of entering a high-level brain competition, but she decides to study and enter the contest. After happily participating in the Brain Bee, she decides to reach out to Simply Neuroscience to see how she can help out more. Jess decided to join the mental health legislation initiative, as she believed that it would be important to contribute to this important matter.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

There are a plethora of organizations built on neuroscience advocacy, but we are the only youth organization to emphasize students’ own journeys. Many students feel intimidated by neuroscience’s complexity and believe its only component is in a lab; we change this by promoting sub-disciplines and embracing versatility. We are also planning a conference for 150+ NYC students to meet profound brain experts for free. Each of our initiatives empowers young people to understand the wonders of the brain through their own path and apply their findings to the world.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

In less than four months, Simply Neuroscience has grown to over 60 members and is still expanding. Our members come from 15 states in the USA, as well as India, the UK, Canada, Pakistan, New Zealand, and France. With our Simply Neurocons, we plan to engage any students in surrounding communities who are interested in learning about the brain. Our first Simply Neurocon will be located in NYC, which has many underprivileged students who don’t often have resources to explore career options, especially in STEM. By making the Simply Neurocon event open to all, we are making neuroscience accessible to everyone. Additionally, when we publish our resources and opportunities database on our website in the future, our audience will be limitless--the materials will be free for thousands of students who want to learn more about the brain.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We hope to expand outreach and Simply Neurocons internationally. We are a recognized 501(c)(3) organization and will develop fundraising campaigns to help with the necessary expenses for Simply Neurocons (free to participants). We’re developing a computational/statistical neuroscience curriculum including AI along with an undergrad research panel. We will broadcast workshops and panels live and post recordings on our website. A major goal for us is promoting mental health awareness. We plan to build a strong base to converse with legislators to advocate for this cause on local and national scales. We are reaching out to other student-run mental health platforms in hopes of working towards this common goal.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Plan & Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Word of mouth

27 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Laurel Prime
Team

Really cool project! I hope to see more from this team soon!

View all comments