We’re excited to announce the Backyard Brains will be featured in an episode of “Mind Field,” a YouTube Red original series created by the famous math and science YouTuber, Vsauce!
If you aren’t familiar with Vsauce, definitely give his youtube channel a look! He has become a staple of online science education, as his YouTube videos are created to break down and explain complex ideas in a relatable and almost comedic manner. His new show, Mind Field, dives into the world of human psychology, perception, cognition, and neuroscience. Sounds like our kind of show!
Which is why we were so amped when our co-founder Tim Marzullo traveled to sunny Los Angeles to visit and film at the YouTube production studio! Our very own little slice of neuroscience education would now be exposed to the masses! (Cue mad scientist laughter.) Arriving early in the morning with his trusty toolbox packed full of neuroscience experiments, Tim got right to work filming with Michael Stevens (creator of Vsauce), Alie Ward (TV Science Personality), and the production team at the YouTube studio.
Tim explains, “It was a really novel experience. The only other film shoots I’ve been a part of had small crews and were done ‘semi-live,’ where we only had one or two takes to get something to work. For this episode, we spent all day filming just two experiments, and a lot of work went into each. We would reshoot each take several times, making sure everything turned out beautifully on camera, and refining our script so the descriptions were tight and entertaining. There were ~20 people on the Mind Field crew, so it was really a cool experience to be a part of a high-budget, professional shoot.”
Season 2, Episode 8: The Electric Brain was just dropped this month, and we were so excited to see the fruits of Tim’s trip. It is a YouTube Red show, so you’ll need a subscription to YouTube to see it, but believe us when we tell you that it will be worth it. No spoilers for the show, so we don’t want to say which of our experiments are appearing, but what we can tell you is that they are two of our more provocative experiments…
The Consumer Electronics Show floods Las Vegas annually with nearly 200,000 visitors and exhibitors, and for the first time, Backyard Brains joined the likes of Intel, Google, IBM, and other giants by attending as exhibitors and hosting our own booth!
The trip was fun, but certainly wasn’t without its challenges. Upon arriving in Vegas, our team realized that we were missing something very important… a sign for our exhibit. Oops. Consequently, we spent the evening before the first day of CES hunting for arts and crafts supplies (harder to find than you’d think…) and painting a new sign! We think it turned out pretty well, and it definitely feels very on-brand for a do-it-yourself company.
Our team did demos and talked to interested geeks for four straight days, and it was a blast! We asked people who had never heard of us before to roll up their sleeves for science. The hands shaken, the electrodes used, the business cards traded–it was all a blur of new connections. In the past, we’ve typically only attended scientific conferences, like the Society for Neuroscience conference and the Michigan Science Teachers Association conference, where we’ve been pretty established. So this was our first dip into the consumer world, and a lot of people were excited about the tech and the educational opportunities it provides!
Our RoboRoach proved to be incredibly novel and intriguing for attendees at CES… We didn’t double check with every booth, but we’re fairly certain we were showing off the only real cyborg at CES! We had constant crowds, and even private tours showing up to take a look at our RoboRoach, the world’s first commercially available cyborg!
We hope you enjoyed CES… we know we did! Whether you are new to BYB or are a long-time fan, we sincerely thank you for taking the time to stop by our booth and participate in some hands-on neuroscience! This was a new conference for us and we were not sure what to expect… turns out we were so slammed with crowds that people had to try multiple times to get in and see demos! Thanks for your enthusiasm and support, we’ll definitely be back next year! In the meantime, be sure to keep checking the blog and wander over to our Products Page to see what we’re up to!
This past Friday, Backyard Brains held an Open House 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!
Greg Gage on the Tech Talk Stage. Photo Credit Vanya P.
The day began with “Tech Talks” at the Michigan Theater, where our very own Dr. Greg Gage gave the Backyard Brains talk. Stimulating both thought and muscle, Greg gave an intro to neuroscience lesson and demonstrated principles of electrophysiology with the Human to Human Interface. He then explained the importance of neuroscience education and Backyard Brains’ mission, stating that “Backyard Brains exists because people deserve an opportunity to learn about neuroscience, not just in a book, but by performing real experiments.”
The Tech Talks were a hit, and very shortly after, the open houses began. For four hours straight we were packed with people interested in learning about Backyard Brains and neuroscience! We demonstrated the SpikerBox, the Human to Human Interface, the Muscle SpikerBox, and even the PlantShield! It was a day of education, outreach, and new connections.
There were parents with their children who were excited to learn, area educators and physicians who were intrigued by the potential of our kits, and otherwise total strangers to neuroscience who walked away with a new appreciation for the field!
We met a few longtime fans and hopefully made many new ones!