Backyard Brains Logo

Neuroscience for Everyone!

+1 (855) GET-SPIKES (855-438-7745)


items ()

Regional McDonalds Grant Enables DIY Neuroscience Learning for Elementary School Students!

Grant Providers Agree, Neuroscience is Worth the Investment

Several months ago, Mr. Skoczylas, an Elementary Tech Coordinator, was trying to figure out how to best introduce young students in his district to the intersection of Life Sciences and STEM. As you know, at Backyard Brains, our tools and labs make it easy for students to begin performing their very own Neuroscience experiments!

Mr. Skoczylas thought the best start would be to begin with an after-school Neuroscience club where passionate students could gather to explore neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and human physiology! This way several other teachers could get involved as well and students wouldn’t be restricted by age, grade, or class.

There was, however, a hurdle: funding. But that was only a small bump in the road, as Mr. Skoczylas sought out and secured funding through a local opportunity!

The #MacGrant is a series of grants made available to educators in PA, WV, OH, and MD. And among many other winners this year, Mr. Skoczylas’s project was approved and awarded funding!

Congratulations to Mr. Skoczylas – we are looking forward to working with him and his team to bring exciting, hands-on neuroscience to their district! We’ll be sure to keep you posted about their progress.

Curious about other examples of successful, grant-funded implementations? Check out the blog post below!


Students learn Neural Engineering at University of Michigan’s “Xplore Engineering” camp

We visited University of Michigan’s campus during their annual “Xplore Engineering” camp. This multi-day event brings grandparents, parents, and their young scientists from all across the country to lovely summer Ann Arbor for a few days of science and engineering experiential opportunities.

(more…)

Learning by Doing: Teach Reiterative Design with Neuroprosthetics

Failure is an important part of the
Reiterative Design Process!

For some students, dealing with failure can be tough. It’s frustrating to encounter obstacles in science! And for teachers – how do you grade a project when a student puts a lot of effort in, but keeps hitting roadblocks?

Many of you already teach like this, but I wanted to share my own recent example of the Reiterative Design Process. Very few things turn out perfect on your first attempt (like the Orange Chicken I attempted to make last night… Not enough sugar?) and require you to learn from several failures or mistakes.

Many students we are working with now are excited about the growing field of DIY Neuroprosthetics, so to help guide students along in their journey, I’ve been working on creating my own prosthetic hands using materials that are accessible to many Middle and High School students!

Three Generations of NeuroProsthetics

From left to right, you can see that in just three different build models, my design came a long way…
(more…)