We're a little crazy, about science!

A new science outreach project

Today we’re making a movie! Okay, it’s not a movie persay, it’s a virtual outreach project I’ve been tasked with by my main-PI. Unlike most outreach I do, this is going to take some planning, a bit of script writing, a easy to do exercise that can be followed at home, and lastly a little write up on everything going on. So when I say some planning, I mean a LOT of planning!

Getting your PhD is an experience, which is why I committed to blogging daily every step of the way! Some days are more school related than other days, but all in all its a mix of work, more work, pretending to relax while doing other school work you’ve tried to convince yourself isn’t actually school work, and balancing life stuff. This week is going to be outrageously packed full of stuff I need to get done, even more than usual!

The event I’m filming today is basically just a lab tour with a fun little “do it yourself” project. Now I work in a non-invasive brain-machine interface lab, so most of the things we use to do our research aren’t things that people would have laying around the house unless you’re a huge nerd like me. Since I can’t expect the kids (I’m allowed to say that, they are 8th grade and below!) to have the materials or the skills to make a brain-machine interface at home, we’re doing something tangentially related. I’m teaching everyone how to make a very simple, but hopefully fun, prosthetic hand!

I’ve decided it will teach them about design and why we look to biology before we create something overly complex. Plus in a really roundabout, squint and you’ll see it way, since you’ll use your brain to tell your muscles to move the prosthetic it will technically be a very rudimentary brain-machine interface. I mean, not in the traditional sense, but I’m still counting it damn it. I’ll also be giving a lab tour during all of this, demoing a few of the things we have, and hopefully tying it all together somehow. I’ve already tried to write the “script” I’ll be using, more of a cliff notes then an actual script.

If it were just this one project things wouldn’t be so bad, but I also have other outreach that starts this week (Skype a Scientist and what not). On top of that, I have experiments for the R21 grant, writing the R21 grant, classes, other research projects I’m assisting on, the second draft of my book chapter I’m writing is due this week, and a whole ton of personal stuff going on. The worst of it is that my car is still with the mechanic and I’m not super thrilled to see the bill that’s going to be coming as soon as I get it back.

In short, a lot of stressful stuff going on. I’m hopeful that by filming everything today I can relieve some of the stress and focus on the other stuff I need to get done. Mostly writing, but all of it is important and almost all of it needs to be done this week. I hate when stuff like this happens and it seems to happen pretty freaking often. That said, I should probably start checking a few things off my to-do list before I get too backed up.

But enough about us, what about you?

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