January 28, 2019
The Dana Foundation is a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research through grants, publications and educational programs.
Over the years, Burman has helped lead UNE’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences (CEN) public outreach efforts to inspire and inform the community about the brain. One hallmark activity of this work is the annual UNE Brain Fair. In recognition of these efforts, Burman was elected as a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in 2015.
The Dana Foundation reached out to Burman for tips on organizing a successful brain fair for the public. The fair attracts more than 600 kids, teens and adults, who take part in more than 40 activities. Exhibits include displays on memory, virtual reality concussion screenings and helmet safety for kids.
Burman says the challenge is to have the maximum impact with limited resources.
“Instead of going out to the public, we decided to bring the public to us by starting the brain fair,” Burman said.
In the past, Burman says CEN used to put on 45-50 events a year, and volunteers would experience burn-out. Now he says they focus on fewer but higher quality events.
This year’s UNE Brain Fair will take place April 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Alfond Fourm.