Overview


Executive Director: Jacob Umans
Executive Committee Members: Jacob Umans, Martyna Petrulyte, Brianna Cole, Megumi Sano, Alexander Skvortsov

Members of the IYNA -- being the voracious consumers of neuroscience knowledge that they are -- have often been disappointed by the lack of neuroscience education in schools. Before college, most students only learn about the brain as a brief aside in the larger context of biology or psychology. Identifying this as a problem, IYNA members started the MYELIN Initiative, short for Modern Youth Education, Leadership, and Inquiry in Neuroscience.

The MYELIN initiative is a global effort co-founded by William Ellsworth, Jacob Umans, Nicholas Chrapliwy, and Megumi Sano and spearheaded by the IYNA to produce a comprehensive curriculum for a high school introductory course in neuroscience. Our hope is that our curriculum will accelerate the education of the next generation of neuroscientists just as the myelin sheath facilitates impulse conduction along an axon. MYELIN stands for Modern Youth Education, Leadership, and Inquiry in Neuroscience. Our mission is to promote neuroscience education in secondary schools across the globe and encourage students to become the next leaders and inquirers of the neuroscience community. By allowing free access to the curriculum, the IYNA hopes that all students -- regardless of their economic backgrounds -- can learn to love neuroscience.

The finished curriculum will be divided into seven modules. Module One will include a series of lessons designed to introduce the fundamental principles of neuroscience, such as functional localization and the action potential. Module Two will be centered around sensation, discussing how we perceive the world. Module Three will include a discussion of higher functions, such as emotion and intelligence, and detail their physiological basis. Module Four will then discuss how these behaviors arise, looking at both the development of the nervous system from birth to death and examining nervous system evolution. Module Five will then explore experimental techniques, discussing the means by which neuroscientists are able to make their discoveries. Module Six focuses on disorders, drawing upon the discussions in previous modules to examine a wide array of neurological disorders. Finally, Module Seven looks to the future of neuroscience, discussing its frontiers and the ethical dilemmas neuroscientists will have to confront in the near future.

We will be periodically be posting updates on the progress of the MYELIN Initiative, so be sure to check this page often.

We are always looking for contributors to the MYELIN Initiative! There are so many ways in which you can help us out. If you are a student, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@youthneuro.org to become one of our curriculum writers. We are also looking for organizations, institutions, and websites to join us on our mission. Our current collaborators include Knowing Neurons, a neuroscience education website which received the SfN 2016 Next Generation Award, and the Synapse Project, a UK-based organization dedicated to promoting neuroscience education among women. If you are interested in collaborating with the MYELIN Initiative, please contact myelin@youthneuro.org.