Sabin – Summer 2015

Sabin is where it all started! NW Noggin was created by Bill Griesar and Jeff Leake, parents of students attending Sabin, and 4 summers later we’re still providing our art-integrated approach to neuroscience outreach. Our team of dedicated and creative volunteers came together in a meeting of the minds to create 3 solid weeks of neuroscience material for Sabin students. We had a great group of participants, and were able to provide a lot of individual attention to our students.

Watch an introductory video created for the 2014 Summer Program, and hear more of the story of NW Noggin.

Planning and Preparation



Below and throughout this page you’ll find some resources created by our Sabin team during the initial 3 weeks (4 weeks for our PNCA members) of lesson/activity planning:

The Brain Game



Week 1

Lots of fun today at Sabin SUN…art projects and human brains!

IMG_1638     IMG_1623     IMG_1646


IMG_1655 Neuroscience & Art!IMG_1664


IMG_1684                IMG_1693                             IMG_1712                IMG_1722

One of the great aspects of the NW Noggin Summer Outreach Program is that we are with students for 3 weeks. Not only does that allow us to get to know each other better than a single class visit, but we can cover a lot more topics and explore concepts together in a deeper way. A challenge with our Summer Program is that neuroscience is a really large topic, so deciding what to cover and how to present it is an important task. Each of the Noggin teams at the different locations came together to plan out an approach – here’s a lesson plan from our first week on Lobes and Neurons!

IMG_1731   IMG_1737   sabinwk1imagesabinwk1painting

           It was a great first week at Sabin!

                   We learned brain structures!                                           We held an actual human brain!                                                                                 We dissected sheep brains!                            We learned about memory!                                                    We created neuron and neurotransmitter art!                      The Brain Game helped us learn what our brain does!                                  We learned brain myths!                                                                       We each got a Field Notes journal!


sabinwk1brain   sabinwk1kalera   sabinwk1   sabinwk1neil   sabinwk1allie


Week 2

IMG_2276  IMG_2293


Take a good look…we covered a lot of big concepts this week, and our students were more than up for the challenge!


IMG_2298  IMG_2292

          Comparative neuroanatomy                                                                                                Posing after our synapse activity!


IMG_2284  IMG_2300

          Our brain myths were hung around the classroom!                                                                                 We had a colorful lesson on neurotransmitters!


Photo Jul 28, 11 18 23 AM

Our AWESOME class collage showing off different brain regions and what activities/concepts they are associated with!


IMG_2310  IMG_2332      Allie and Kat going over some comparative neuroanatomy                                                        Kalera!


IMG_2328  IMG_4820  Photo Jul 20, 11 00 00 AM

We’re a very fashionable group! Led by our amazingly talented Art Coordinators, our class created custom-designed brain themed t-shirts. The pipe cleaner neurons we built in Week 1 grew into a neuronal network, which naturally grew into this summer’s must-have accessory!

The creativity continued when we designed paper robots to demonstrate our nervous systems lesson!



We might have had even more fun on this second week at Sabin than than the first!

 Photo Jul 20, 10 37 09 AM Photo Jul 20, 10 35 58 AM Two of our All-Star Sabin students posing with their hand-made brains-in-a-jar!


Week 3

image5            image7          image6            image4          image1

image1     IMG_3556Sabin Bill         We had a very important day discussing Stress, Moods, and our Brains. To convey some of the topics from our lesson, we played Very Emotional Charades – a take on the game thought up by our Sabin instructors. Click the link to see the lesson plan we created!


Mareika, one of our fabulous art coordinators from PNCA, was at Sabin last year as well! Her contributions to our Sabin team were a crucial part of what made our program so special. Mareika created a Field Notes journal for everyone at Sabin (and other schools), something for students to take notes, draw, and doodle in throughout our 3 weeks together.




Check out Mareika and the rest of the 2014 Sabin team here!


Our Sabin group got a lot out of the Summer Program – more than our very own neuron models and brains-in-a-jar, more than paper robots and field notes journals – even more than our awesome one-of-a-kind t-shirts…Each of us involved gained unique and unforgettable experiences.

IMG_3558     image4     IMG_3557

Our instructors started the summer with little to no prior experience working with children, let alone teaching neuroscience concepts which they themselves have only begun to study – what an incredible opportunity to learn!

Our coordinators came into Sabin already having some history with teaching neuroscience and art, and this Summer Program required a lot of newly developed and on-the-spot leadership skills – experiences we will continue to develop and refine.

Our Sabin students shared with us their talents and enthusiasm, and brought new perspectives to the topics on brain and behavior – of which we a NW Noggin have a deep excitement. They got to see the fun and creativity involved in studying science, and approached what are often intimidating topics in a different way – through active participation, engagement, and art integration. As much as we tried to create an enriching and fun 3 weeks for them, the students at Sabin, without even trying, gave us memories and insights that will stay with us as we all continue on our own adventures!


Our Sabin team…
Allie Clark (PSU), Christie Pizzimenti (OHSU), Mareika Glenn (PNCA), Kat McAnalley (PNCA), Kalera Stratton (PSU), Neal Brown (PSU), Raeann Barnes (PSU), and Sara Onitsuka (College of Wooster in Ohio).  Special thanks to Rachel Prust of the Sabin SUN Program for her assistance and support… 🙂



Pictures provided by Bill Griesar and Allie Clark

Page written and arranged by Michael Miller

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *