the pitch
Help us make BrainReach’s free, hands-on science education material more accessible and interesting for elementary and secondary students in Montreal and in remote Indigenous communities across Quebec.

the highlights

  • Send a BrainReach North volunteer to northern Quebec to provide interactive science lessons to elementary and secondary students in Indigenous communities.
  • Develop new teaching modules, update current content, and purchase materials to increase the quality of BrainReach’s teaching program and to keep the experience fresh.
  • Expand the program into more schools in Montreal and northern Quebec in order to reach more young minds.

the story
BrainReach is an award-winning, not-for-profit outreach organization run entirely by graduate students in McGill’s Integrated Program in Neuroscience. Our goal is to make science fun and accessible for elementary and high school students in underserved parts of Montreal and in remote Indigenous communities in northern Quebec. We provide a unique, interactive teaching experience about the brain, showcasing how learning about science can be accessible and fun.

BrainReach’s student volunteers visit Montreal schools regularly throughout the academic year to lead interactive sessions with original introductory brain science lessons, all centred on active learning. With BrainReach North, we extend this teaching and learning experience to remote communities, where our teachers use interactive online materials and lead outreach trips.

We need your help expanding our outreach efforts in the North! This includes sending a student volunteer to a fly-in community to provide the same teaching sessions given at local Montreal schools; developing new interactive activity modules; and acquiring materials to improve the quality of our teaching sessions. We also hope to expand the program to more schools in Montreal and northern Quebec.

Students and teachers love the BrainReach program, and you can help us offer it to as many children as possible across the province!

Meet the Project Team: 
Marisa Cressatti
  • Neuroscience PhD student studying oxidative stress models of Parkinson’s disease.
  • BrainReach High School President
  • I’ve won first place in a football pool 3 years in a row, and I know nothing about football.
Kelly Smart
  • Neuroscience PhD candidate studying brain changes in addiction.
  • BrainReach North President
  • I got to visit Naskapis First Nation in Kawawachikamach, Quebec in 2016 on the first ever BrainReach North teaching trip.
Anastasia Sares
  • Neuroscience PhD candidate studying stuttering, language and music in the brain
  • Current president of BrainReach elementary; hoping to provide our team with more materials so that we can have more volunteers presenting
  • I have played the flute since 4th grade and sing in a local choir
Katrine Iversen
  • Neuroscience PhD candidate studying neuron developmental with a focus on the molecular mechanisms causing autism.
  • Social Media Manager for BrainReach High School.
  • I have taught my cat to jump through hooped arms and give me a high-five.
Stephanie Scala
  • Neuroscience PhD candidate studying addiction
  • Committee member of BrainReach North; I’m involved in fundraising, as well as the creation of new content for lessons
  • My favourite animals are alpacas
Noor Al-Sharif
  • Studying healthy development of structural white matter and cognition in kids and adolescents using neuroimaging methods
  • BrainReach volunteer for 3 years, Materials Distributor + Presentation Designer for 2 years
  • I have a 4-year-old avocado tree that I grew from a pit and it’s now over 8 feet tall!