Last Friday, Backyard Brains once again opened our doors (even wider–they’re always open during business hours!) to our fellow and aspiring citizen scientists as a part of this year’s Ann Arbor Tech Trek! Dozens of local tech companies had their doors open to the public that evening and we, like our friends around town, had people streaming in from open to close! BYB has participated for the last few years, and it is always a hit.
For four hours on Friday afternoon, we were packed with people from all walks of life who were interested in learning about Backyard Brains and neuroscience! It was a day of education, outreach, and new connections. In the office, we demonstrated our classic, the Human to Human Interface, as well as The Claw, and we even helped people control Mario with their eye blinks!
Our Summer Fellows also got in on the action, presenting their work down in the Makerspace at All Hands Active. This was the first chance our fellows got to share their science with the community, letting people in on their secrets and experiment rigs. For example, Silkmoth Fellow Jess was running experiments on a cockroach antenna during Tech Trek: Some kids were watching when she used different odors to try to get a reaction in the antenna, as pictured below:
It was definitely a unique opportunity, full of its own trials. According to Mantis Shrimp Fellow Dan, “I was trying to collect behavioral data with the mantis shrimp while his implants were falling out, and people would come by who obligingly ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the prep and politely listened to my spiel about EMGs and the strike. I’ve never presented about my research while actively conducting it.”
Meet the Fellows, See the Projects
Catch up with our Fellows! Since our Fellowship started, each fellow has been hard at work on their summer research. Saw a cool project and you want to know more? Check out these posts introducing each Fellowship research track:
- Jess – No Nose, No Mouth, No Problems: the Silkmoth Story
- Jessica – Introducing Pavlov’s…Plants?
- Yifan – Know Your Birds
- Ilya – Neurorobot Vision
- Aaron – Nothing In Life Is Free
- Dan – Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em…Shrimps?!
- Anusha – Creating Professor X
- Molly – Bee-search: How Do Bees See
- Maria – Electric Relaxation
- Anastasiya – Secret Life of Jellyfish
- Ben – Python
First Progress Reports:
If you’ve been dying for an update on what we’ve been researching, fret no more! Feast your eyes on our first batch of updates!
- Jess – Becoming a #MothMom
- Jessica – Plant Nanny: If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try, try again
- Yifan – Human, Quiet, Crow: Teaching Computers to Distinguish Birdsong
- Ilya – Neurorobot on Wheels
- Dan – Mantis Shrimp: I Want You To Do Me A Favor. I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can
- Molly – Bee-lieve You Can and You’re Halfway There: The Prototyping Process
- Aaron – Is It Actually My Choice To Not Title This Post?
- Anusha – In Search of the Mu Rhythm
- Anastasiya – Jellies, and GUIs, and Costumes, Oh My!
- Maria – Meditation Data or Bust
Second Progress Reports:
Science marches ever onward! The Fellows have kept plugging away on their research in between all the fun and games, and here are their newest updates!