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Brain Awareness Week Brings Hands-On Neuroscience to All

Check out these awesome examples of Citizen Neuroscience!

Another Brain Awareness week has come and gone. But if you missed it, don’t think you can’t still get involved with Neuroscience Outreach! Organized by the Dana Foundation, Brain Awareness Week is a chance for educators to highlight neuroscience!

Whether you want to teach neuroscience in your classroom, or you and your students want to educate the public, our resources at Backyard Brains are powerful assets for all citizen neuroscientists.

You don’t have to take my word for it…

I’ll let the public do the talking! Check out these awesome examples from Twitter of Brain Awareness Week events featuring hands-on, educational neuroscience.

The admissions counselors LOVE Neuroscience outreach, and dreams do come true!

One last little observation we observed on Twitter… congrats to the recent acceptance!

Brain Awareness week may be over, but that doesn’t mean neuroscience outreach is ever out of fashion! Check out our Experiments and Store for information about how to bring these demos, and more, to life for students in the classroom, strangers at the bar, or wherever educational outreach may take you


Educators get Hype for DIY EEG (Brain Recordings!)

Take it from Twitter: Low-cost EEG is a powerful teaching tool!

As a business, it can be strange to package and ship off all these different neuroscience education tools, wondering if they’ll like their new home, will they make a difference in this big, strange world?

Much like a proud parent, we are always excited when we see tweets and testimonials like this one from an international user in Ireland, preparing to use one of our DIY EEG devices for neuroscience outreach!

Not just that, but it inspired a fun follow-up conversation amongst other Twitter users:

We’ve got history, humor, and enthusiastic recommendations all in one!

Brief History of EEG

What John and Mark are referencing is Hans Berger’s pioneering work in brain recordings, the results of which were published in 1929: see the publication here in its full, German language glory!

Wikipedia provides a nice summary of this original experiment:

His method involved inserting silver wires under the patient’s scalp, one at the front of the head and one at the back. Later he used silver foil electrodes attached to the head by a rubber bandage. As a recording device, he first used the Lippmann’s capillary electrometer, but results were disappointing. He then switched to the string galvanometer and later to a double-coil Siemens recording galvanometer, which allowed him to record electrical voltages as small as one ten thousandths of a volt. The resulting output, up to three seconds in duration, was then photographed by an assistant.

The original recording from that string galvanometer is pictured in John Butler’s tweet!

Fortunately, 90 years has advanced technology considerably, allowing us to perform the same experiment and view the same results with our non-invasive EEG Sweatband!

Much less intimidating than inserting silver wires under the scalp!

The Tools to Make it Possible

Bring this EEG experiment and demonstration to your classroom!

Heart and Brain SpikerBox ($150):

Record from your Heart, your Brain, and even your Eyes… EEG, EKG, and EOG allow us to study more complex electrical systems that are responsible for nearly everything that makes us human.

Experiments:


A Poem on Love and Neurotransmitters

It takes a practiced hand to be able to take complex, abstract ideas, and describe them in simple ways. In many ways, this is the job of educators. We take it upon ourselves to grapple with abstractions and find novel connections, comparisons, and metaphors to help others understand a new idea.

Brod Bagert, who we met at this most recent NSTA, has a fun and effective approach to teaching students about science. Citing that dramatic forms help students understand and retain new information about Science better, Brod has written a series of poems, plays, and monologues which illuminate the intricacies of different scientific fields in funny and heartwarming ways.

I wanted to share this poem, reproduced with permission from Brod’s book, Systematic Me, which will teach you, in surprising depth, about the role of neurotransmitters in sending information throughout the body.