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DIY Neuroscience at 2022 USA Fencing Nationals: Where Science Meets Foil & Epee

supriya nair presenting her neurofencing research at 2022 us fencing nationals
Neurofencing presentation at 2022 USA Fencing Nationals. (Image credit: Jayraj Nair)

What do neuroscience and fencing have in common? This was a question asked—and answered!— by Supriya Nair, high-schooler and neurofencer from Washington State. After winning WA State Science Fair two years in a row using our gear, this young scientist took the opportunity to present her neurofencing research at US Fencing Nationals in Minneapolis—and volunteered to become our brand ambassador while at it!

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New Peer-Reviewed Paper on Fish Play Behavior (Classroom-Friendly Experiment!)

fish in aquarium chasing the laser pointer

Cats and dogs aren’t the only pets fond of chasing things that run away from them. Aquarium fish do it too, as shown in our new peer-reviewed paper that came out just last week in the “Animals” journal! Out of 66 fish species observed, nearly 90% showed interest in or set out to chase moving laser pointed dots.

What makes us especially proud is that the paper came as culmination of a yearlong research that began as our last year’s Fellow Sofia Eisenbeiser’s summer project. As scientists know it all too well, a single year is pretty fast and couldn’t make us more proud!

Another reason for pride is the fact that this research adds another layer of proof to what we’ve been saying all along: (neuro)science doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This particular experiment only requires a couple of things that many people already have: a fish tank with some inhabitants (the more, the merrier!) and a laser pointer or two. Incredibly easy to replicate in, say, your biology classroom!

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Young Neurofencer Wins Washington Science Fair (2nd Year in a Row) Using SpikerBox

young neurofencer wins washington science fair

Swift and agile musclework and bladework is all you need to be a good fencer. Or is it?

As it turns out thanks to Supriya Nair, an eighth-grader from Redmond, WA, the brain and heart have their fair share in it too! The young scientist’s research project on neurofencing just won her yet another first place at Washington State Science Fair (WSSEF), as well as a special award in Health & Medicine and a Broadcom MASTERS nomination!

To record and collect data needed for investiging the role of brain, heart and muscles, Supriya used a BYB combo, Heart & Brain SpikerBox and Muscle SpikerBox.

Supriya isn’t new to being a state science fair laureate. Last year, this young fencer won the WSSEF award for measuring her muscles’ reaction time before and after warm-ups to improve her lunge performance.

This time around, she added the brain and heart into the equation, measuring her EEG, EKG and EMG with and without a 15-minute warm-up.

So what were the results?

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