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Mr. Hoxley from East Hartford CT is requesting Lab Equipment through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Real Neuroscience in the Classroom

Help me give my students really cool Do-It-Yourself neuroscience equipment from Backyard Brains

  • $1,892 goal

This project expired on January 31, 2019.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My students are 11th and 12th graders from a very ethnically and socioeconomically diverse urban school district. It is this diversity that makes our school and students a special place. These students are wonderful kids with insightful questions and college aspirations. My anatomy and physiology classes are designed to teach students about the fascinating world of the human body. Neuroscience is a large topic in my class and we spend much time on learning about muscle and nerve physiology, how impulses are carried along nerves, and the effects of toxins and drugs on the communication between muscles and neurons. And while we use some computer animations, draw models, and try to act out how action potentials work, it just isn’t the same as real, live, and observable phenomenon that’s occurring with their own nerve and muscle electricity.

My Project

A few years ago at a National Association of Biology Teachers conference, I came across a booth by Backyard Brains. They were demonstrating how to use a “spiker” box to record action potentials with an iPad. Really neat stuff! I came back to school with aspirations of obtaining equipment for my anatomy classes but there were no funds available. So I resorted to showing video demos from the Backyard Brain website, especially the Human-Human Interface which allows one students brain to control another students muscle movement in their arm. Getting a Human-Human Interface to actually demo in class would promote inquiry skills and provide excitement about neurobiology and the future of prosthetic limbs. I would like to have a classroom set of muscle spiker boxes for students to learn about the electrical activity of their muscles. In addition, I would like to get one heart and brain spiker box so students can view and record the action potentials of the heart (EKG) and the slow rhythms of their brain (EEG) using a smartphone, tablet, chromebook or computer.

My students deserve the opportunity to use cool, hands-on technology to advance their knowledge of the nervous system and perhaps pursue a field in neuroscience at college.

With this DIY equipment from Backyard Brains, my students can experiment with their own muscle responses and action potentials as well as view them on screens.

In addition, many of my students are taking AP Psychology classes where they study about the brain and physiological psychology. These kits can help bridge the gap between what they learn in my class and AP Psychology and open doors for college aspirations. I think these kits can help show students that they can do college level work and be the next leaders in finding cures for mental illnesses

Mr. Hoxley
Grades 9-12
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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5 donors5 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 50 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Muscle Spiker Box PRO • Backyard Brains $249.99 5 $1,249.95
Human-Human Interface • Backyard Brains $259.99 1 $259.99

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


3 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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