Greg Gage

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Greg Gage helps kids investigate the neuroscience in their own backyards. He is the co-founder of Backyard Brains, an organization teaching kids and amateurs neuroscience through hands-on experiments to see and hear brain signals from living neurons and also via robotic control of ordinary cockroaches.

Before becoming a neuroscientist, Gage worked as an electrical engineer making touchscreens. As he told the Huffington Post: "Scientific equipment in general is pretty expensive, but it's silly because before [getting my PhD in neuroscience] I was an electrical engineer, and you could see that you could make it yourself. So we started as a way to have fun, to show off to our colleagues, but we were also going into classrooms around that time and we thought, wouldn't it be cool if you could bring these gadgets with us so the stuff we were doing in advanced Ph.D. programs in neuroscience, you could also do in fifth grade?" His latest piece of gear is the: the Roboroach, a cockroach fitted with an electric backpack that makes it turn on command.

TEDEd 2011: The cockroach beatbox

By dissecting a cockroach live on stage, Greg Gage enthrals his young audience, showing them how brains receive and deliver electric impulses and how legs can respond. Surely exactly what science should be about!

This talk comes from the TED-Ed project. Find out more on the TED-Ed site.

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