This summer’s been a busy and buzzy season for spreading the word on DIY neuroscience! As part of the outreach activities, our crew hit Paris to attend FENS (Forum of European Neuroscience), Europe’s largest international neuroscience conference. We set up shop there and demoed the latest upgrades of our bioamplifiers. And got sore muscles from cycling along the Champs-Élysées!
The schedule was jam-packed with sci-comm activities, with over 7,500 fellow neuroscientists, graduate and doctoral students as well as teachers partaking in scientific symposia, poster presentations, workshops, mini conferences. (Hanging out, caffeinating and exchanging ideas with other nerdy folks at the rooftop terrace was also a huge part of it, especially in the mornings and evenings.)
Our booth was one of the liveliest spots. For who doesn’t itch to get a taste of a powerful brain-computer interface packed up into a couple of little orange boxes made world-famous by TED?
Or to engage in a cyborgian cup stacking contest using our robotic arm called The Claw…
Our DIY neuroscience gear has already seen over a hundred countries all over the world. And it doesn’t intend to stop! So to scratch the gear’s itch, we decided to organize two more demoes in Europe—this time, in Branko Radicevic High School and Simeon Aranicki Elementary in the town of Stara Pazova (Serbia).
Our team members Stefana, Nestor and Vojin hit the biology classes with 1st- to 4th-graders, as well as 7th- and 8th-graders. There, they held workshops presenting our latest version of Human-Human Interface.
As ever, the kids were flabbergasted with the opportunity to hijack another person’s free will and “steal” their electrical impulse. But our team also planted some seeds that we hope will sprout into lifelong interest in robotics, computer science, medicine and related fields.
Aside from the sheer fun of arranging who’s going to control whom, the kids also got to measure the intensity of the impulse and figure out the muscle/fat ratio in our bodies. “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” gets a whole new meaning when Human-Human Interface, our mind-controlling device, enters the stage! Is it “I use your hand to scratch my back” now?
Over these past few months, we’ve been busy spreading the word to other corners of the planet too. From our old friends in Odessa, TX to the far-away Seoul, South Korea where we delivered some gear and taught neuroscience to North Korean refugees.
Do you have somewhere you think we should visit? Feel free to ping us on Twitter!
Are you part of an organization registered as public charity in the US or Canada?
If yes, now is the time to apply for up to $1,500 that you can use towards planning out an outreach for next year’s Brain Awareness Week (March 14 – March 20, 2022)!
If awarded, you could use this money to organize workshops, brain fairs, interactive programs geared towards school students, undergrads, underserved communities or the general public. There are no formal limitations as long as your program is free for attendees and has to do with neuroscience or brain health! Brain science doesn’t have nearly enough presence in school curriculums, so all initiatives to try and fill in the gap are more than welcome.
If you’re worried about the pandemic, fret not: both in-person and virtual events are eligible for this grant!
How to Apply & What Kind of Programs Do They Support?
Applying is simple: just head over here to register as a Partner. If you’re registered already, just log in here and follow the link to submit your application. The Foundation provides a bunch of resources to help you plan out your program – check them out before applying!