Washington State University Vancouver

Want to gain experience that will improve your job prospects?

Are you excited by what you’re discovering about the brain and behavior?
  Are you curious about communicating with K-12 and the public about neurons, synapses, adolescent brain development, sensory systems and advances in our understanding of mental health? Are you intrigued by opportunities to do more than memorize rote “elevator pitches”  –  and integrate the arts into innovative neuroscience outreach and education in our diverse community?

Come join us!  NW Noggin is actively engaged in STEAM (STEM + Art) outreach throughout the academic year, and over the summer as well…

LEARN MORE:  Noggin Bloggin
A regularly updated summary of our outreach visits and activities, with an emphasis on the science presented, and the arts projects designed to educate students and the public about research exploring the link between brain and behavior…

LEARN MORE:  Calendar of Events
What’s next on our schedule?  How can you get involved?

The chance to collaborate with graduate students and undergraduates from Portland State University, OHSU, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art to both design and then deliver instruction to K-12 students in Portland and Vancouver public schools is an extraordinary educational experience…


You’ll gain confidence in your public speaking skills, you’ll learn about current efforts in graduate research, you’ll discover the power of art in conveying complex concepts in neuroscience and psychology, and you’ll know what it’s like to plan lessons and teach…


And you will help enthuse a new generation of scientists and artists, too!


Several WSU participants have written posts about their experiences with NW Noggin…

LEARN MORE:  Christina Williams: Making Connections Through NW Noggin

LEARN MORE:  Kim Engeln: Teaching thousands about the brain!

LEARN MORE:  Joey Seuferling: Changing the world, one brain at a time

WSU suggests that they are directly connected with our innovative outreach work (they “scitalk”), yet they provide no support for NW Noggin or for their own enthusiastic student participants (i.e., all “scitalk”  –  and no action).

We are welcome volunteer outreach visitors in Vancouver area public schools, and engage in extensive arts-integrated science communication north of the Columbia River. Yet despite the instructor names, quotes, and tweets on their website, NW Noggin is not affiliated with WSU Vancouver

However, we strongly encourage Vancouver undergraduates and graduates to join us off campus! We even arranged for Cougar undergrads to join high profile Noggin efforts at the Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington DC!

Please contact Ruth Marigomen (maryruth.marigomen@wsu.edu), the Noggin Resource Council member for Washington State University Vancouver, Bill Griesar (griesar@pdx.edu) and Jeff Leake (jleake@pdx.edu) to learn more… 🙂


Graduate students are also encouraged to present a public lecture on their research at Velo Cult, a bicycle shop/event space/pub in NE Portland! We pair you with an art student, and you both get unique, useful experience introducing your work to the general public. And $1/pint sold during presentations supports neuroscience/art outreach in the public schools… :)

Check out some past presentations by graduate students from WSU Vancouver…

Feeling no pain @ Velo!

The Art & Science of Stress @ Velo

Velo Cult:  A memorable crowd!


NW Noggin is very active in the community throughout the year, and if you are interested in finding out more about participating, please submit the information requested below and follow the instructions in the confirmation email. 

You are also encouraged to contact our Resource Council Member for Communications:  Jpatchingbunch@gmail.com


MORE DETAILS:  NW Noggin (Not part of WSU) | Washington State University

MORE DETAILS:  About Us | NW Noggin (Not part of WSU) | Washington State University

NOTE: Bill Griesar taught in Psychology and Neuroscience at WSU Vancouver for 17 years, beginning in 2000. In 2015, he was tasked as outreach coordinator for Neuroscience, along with artist Jeff Leake, and they quickly expanded WSU participation in K-12 schools and the broader community. Bill and Jeff brought many Cougar grad students, along with collaborating artists, in front of non-science audiences at Velo Cult, a bike shop and pub in Northeast Portland. Their efforts were profiled in the Columbian newspaper, and in a WSU publication, NW Crimson & Gray. In spring of 2016, they were invited to bring 26 of their outreach volunteers from WSU, PSU, OHSU and PNCA to Washington DC to present brains in public schools, Congress, the Obama White House and at the Phillips Collection, where they organized a sold out Neuroscience Night! In October of 2016, Bill and Jeff were recognized for their innovative outreach model by the Obama White House – specifically for bringing together students from multiple institutions, and multiple academic disciplines, and connecting them with the broader community…

Jeff and Bill also created the first arts-integrated STEM class to pass the WSU system UCORE committee (Neuro 150: Art & Brain), which had maximum course enrollment (40) for two consecutive years, brought in more than a third of all new Neuroscience students, and influenced many to consider pursuing both neuroscience and art in Vancouver…

However, some highly paid administrators at WSU Vancouver did not value arts-integration, and opposed efforts to highlight collaborative work involving students from other campuses. At a White House Frontiers Conference for innovators, President Obama warned that innovation is often rejected by large institutions, which may decide that their primary mission is to preserve less effective, existing administrative structures, and focus on branding, not substance. WSUV withdrew formal support for innovative, student-focused, multi-institutional, arts-integrated STEM outreach in spring of 2017.

We thoroughly respect and appreciate our innovative Vancouver student volunteers (learn more about them here, here, and here) and encourage them to stay involved in artfully communicating science through nwnoggin.org.

LEARN MORE: WSU Stand Up for Noggin 2017

LEARN MORE: BioGifting brains

We are committed to creating and fostering a learning and working environment based on open communication and mutual respect.  We have an extraordinarily diverse K-12 student population, and a diverse community of teachers as well. We expect volunteers to be respectful and welcoming of difference, including differences involving race, color, religion, age, national origin or ancestry, veteran or military status, sex, marital status, pregnancy or parenting status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.  Inappropriate behavior is unacceptable, and will result in removal from NW Noggin activities…

Please help everyone feel valued as full, respected participants in our teaching and learning communities – this is key to successful outreach…

Comments are closed