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Today′s Hours

New Year, NeuroTinker

Molly Kane, Head of Teen Services and Emerging Technologies

One of the best things about running UDPL’s STEAM Lab is that it acts like a spotlight, drawing amazing people from the community to the library to share their skills and interests.

Our Girls Who Code group had the opportunity to talk to Captain Beverley Bass, the US’s first commercial airline pilot last month. The UDHS Robotics Team is hosting a 3D printing workshop for elementary students in a couple of weeks. And a UDHS student, Priya Kaneria, is working with Marcus Nystrand, a designer from Sweden, a group of local marine biologists, and me to create 3D printed scaffolds to help coral regrow faster and stronger.

Hand holding NeuroByte circuit

One of the most exciting meetings I had this year, though, was with Joe Burdo, co-founder & Lead Educator of NeuroTinker.  He brought a box filled with technological magic and gave me the clearest (and coolest) explanation of how our nerves respond to create the patellar reflex. His NeuroBytes are the perfect combination of circuitry, coding, and hands-on nervous system education. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a better teaching tool. It took me a long time to understand exactly how messages got from my knee to my brain and back again because as good as my science textbooks were, reading  isn’t always the best way to learn concepts. NeuroBytes make it easy to follow neural pathways from stimulus to response. The whole time Joe was doing the demonstration for me, I couldn’t stop saying “This is so cool! This is so cool!” The NeuroTinker crew is already working with some of the science classes at UDHS and I predict before long that we’ll be seeing NeuroBytes in many more classrooms!

If you’d like to see NeuroBytes in action, Joe will be joining us for our January open STEAM Lab on Saturday, January 13th from 2-3p. We’d love to see you there!