Happy Fall, Think Tankers!  

As we speed through the Fall, we wanted to look back on some of the milestones THE THINK TANK rolled past during the 2015-16 academic year. Here are some highlights of our trips to schools and festivals – events that got a whole lot brainier once THE TANK arrived!

 

THE THINK TANK Brainifies Washington D.C.

What’s higher than a highlight? Whatever it is, that’s the word to describe our 1,400 mile road trip to the USA Science and Engineering Expo in Washington D.C.

TTT was honored to represent the National Science Foundation at the nation’s largest STEM expo – attended by about 365,000 sci-curious students and families.

Five of TTT’s BRAINIACS made the trek to and from D.C.

Five of TTT’s BRAINIACS made the trek to and from D.C.

Our team joined about 3,000 presenters from all over the US.  NASA sent this guy.

Our team joined about 3,000 presenters from all over the US.  NASA sent this guy.

Kids were amazed that they could control a computer with their brainwaves, using our portable EEG headsets.

Kids were amazed that they could control a computer with their brainwaves, using our portable EEG headsets.

Our ILLUMINOGGIN is pretty big and flashy (literally!) so it attracted a lot of attention.  

Our ILLUMINOGGIN is pretty big and flashy (literally!) so it attracted a lot of attention.  

But the competition for people’s attention was stiff -- just a few booths away from us was a fighter jet…so, at times we felt a little outgunned.

Still, our booth was packed.  Amid all the high-tech demos, kids lined up around the corner to do even our lowest-tech demos – like this young Tanker who couldn’t get enough of our beanbag-toss neuroplasticity demo.

 

The NSF estimates that our team engaged 10,000 people in 3 days.


Earle STEM Academy

Earle delivers cutting-edge STEM education to South Side elementary schoolers. 99% of Earle’s kids are Black or Hispanic – which means that Earle STEM is changing the face of science, and TTT is there to help.  

Sital shows this scientist-in-training how to control a robot with her mind!

Sital shows this scientist-in-training how to control a robot with her mind!


Genius Week with 92Y

We teamed up with New York’s 92nd Street Y for the second consecutive year to livestream Genius: Mind, Brian, and Molecules, a talk that was part of 92Y’s 7 Days of Genius Festival, for the UChicago community. Moderated by Nobel Laureate and neuroscientist Eric Kandel, M.D., the talk literally put the history of brain research on center stage.

  

 

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The talk was great, but The Think Tank team noticed some things that all of the eminent scientists on stage had in common – see anything? (Hint: This is why we need to accelerate diversity in science!)


TTT Takes the Quad!

Toward the end of our season, we brought our knowledge back home and set up in our home base, right on the UChicago quad! Lured by the smell of pizza and the sight of our neon green Tank, our college students found that, despite their already stellar UChicago education, there was still a lot more to learn about the brain.

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Spring day to recruit a new bunch of UChicago BRAINIACS.

Some of our most enthusiastic participants weren’t quite ready for college.

Some of our most enthusiastic participants weren’t quite ready for college.


Lorca Elementary Science Night

We brainified the first-ever Lorca Elementary Science Night at Lorca Elementary School!

Named for the great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, this bilingual school serves a student body that’s over 90% Hispanic, and 95% of the students are from low-income families.  We were honored to partner with them, and can’t wait to visit again!


Chicago Science Fest

We brought neuroscience to thousands of Chicagoans of all ages at the Chicago Science Festival. Look for the Illuminoggin in the Sci Fest’s video…  

 


Homewood Science Fair

We finished out the year with a visit to the Homewood Science Center Fair, where our team had a great time running demos and soaking up the sun!

Balloon vs. Illuminoggin – the balloon may be pinker, but the ‘Noggin was definitely bigger!

Balloon vs. Illuminoggin – the balloon may be pinker, but the ‘Noggin was definitely bigger!


T[H]ANKS to our partners!

As always, a HUGE thank you to every school, organization, and individual that partnered with us this past year. With your support, we can accelerate diversity in science!

 

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