Seth Pollak and Alison Wismer Fries with child participant

Community Outreach

Community Outreach Coordinator at Family Science Night
A staff member helps children learn about brains at family science events.

The Child Emotion Research Lab is committed to providing education and service to the community. Our staff visit local schools to give presentations on the brain and demonstrate ‘real-life’ science experiments to children. We tailor each visit to the grade levels involved and provide children with concrete, hands-on experience involving behavioral research. We always try to coordinate our demonstrations to any curriculum that the students may already be taking. A visit to our lab often includes demonstrations of brain wave recordings or demonstrations of interesting computer software and graphics.



Undergrads prepping model magic brains
Undergraduates preparing “brain kits” for the UW Science Expo.

2019 UW Science Expeditions

This year the Child Emotion Lab participated in the UW Science Expeditions, a 3-day event that provided the community with a snapshot view of the innovative scientific research that happens at the university.  This year, the expedition welcomed over a thousand visitors who were eager to learn more about science!  The Child Emotion Lab helped hundreds of children learn how to make brains out of air-dry clay and provided them with a hands on activity to explore the many parts of the brain.

Seth Pollak at Lecture
Dr. Seth Pollak gives a lecture to the community

Dr. Pollak regularly speaks to community agencies, schools, and professional and public interest organizations. He is particularly interested in helping to educate members of our community about how to understand the proliferation of popular news reports on brain plasticity and child development, and especially on the developmental effects of child abuse.

Researcher with child looking at computer
A lab member demonstrates a task to a child at a community science event

Recent presentations have included groups such as the Wisconsin Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services, state legislators and administrators of public health service programs involving child welfare, community-based conferences including the Wisconsin Prevention Network, Wisconsin Department of Child and Family Services, and the Wisconsin Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect. In-services and lectures are provided for local parent groups, teachers, and day care centers without charge.