NeuroMaker BCI Curriculum

The NeuroMaker BCI Curriculum combines Neuroscience, Neurofeedback, Neurotechnology and more to gives students the power to understand their own brain and use it to control the world around them. This semester is arranged into 6 modules that allow students to become real brain computer interface scientists using NeuroMaker BCI!

Unit 1: Enter the World of BCI

Two lessons centered on setting objectives for the course and setting up your BCI technology.

Unit 2: Neurotech Fundamentals

Seven classes centered on understanding the brain, brainwaves and the signals we can detect.

Unit 3: Neurofeedback Exploration

Fifteen lab sessions centered on regulating your own brain to determine what engages you, makes you relaxed and develop brain control of your environment.

Unit 4: Brain Device Control

Seven lessons that allow students to control lights, motors, sounds and more using their new brain superpowers!

Unit 5: Ethics and Impact

Understand the ethical and societal impacts of Brain Computer Interface technology.

Unit 6: BCI Design Thinking

Use the skills you have learned in this course to think of your own BCI projects and make them your own!

What Materials Do I Need to Complete This Course?

  • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit for at least each pair of students. Both the black Focus 1 unit and blue-grey Crimson Unit (also known as FocusCalm) are compatible with this course.
  • One laptop computer for each BCI device. 
    • Focus 1 devices must be paired with a PC running MacOS Big Sur or Windows 10
    • Crimson devices must be paired with a web connected computer running a Google Chrome browser. Chromebooks, PC and more are all compatible.
  • Completion of Unit 4 requires commonly found Arduino project kits. For a more detailed list, please visit Unit 4.
  • Commonly found items in a classroom such as notebooks, pens and other simple materials
  • NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is available in an installed application and web application depending on the type of device you are using.
    • Focus 1 devices require installation of NeuroMaker BCI Connect on the client computer.
    • Crimson devices require web access to the NeuroMaker BCI Web App.
  • Access to Google applications such as docs, sheets and slides will be necessary to deliver lessons, take lab reports and collect data. Microsoft Office is also compatible.
  • Unit 4 requires programming tools for the Arduino system. The freely available Arduino IDE will be used for programming.

NeuroMaker BCI Curriculum is separated into six different modules. Each module focuses on a different learning outcomes surrounding Brain Computer Interface technology. Each unit is centered around the following time arrangement:

  • Unit 1 Enter the World of BCI: Approximately two 50 minute class sessions
  • Unit 2: Neurotech Fundamentals: Approximately seven 50 minute classroom sessions
  • Unit 3 Neurofeedback Exploration: Approximately fifteen 50 minute classroom sessions
  • Unit 4 Brain Device Control: Approximately seven 50 minute classroom sessions
  • Unit 5 Ethics and Impact: Approximately two 50 minute classroom sessions
  • Unit 6 BCI Design Thinking: This unit provides open exploration of a project students chose. A minimum of six 50 minute classroom session is recommended however this unit may be expanded to however long the educator sees fit.

Professional Development and Training Options

Professional Development is available for new educators and administrators delivering this technology. Simple introductions to this technology, set up of materials and walkthroughs of course materials are highly recommended for those operating these lessons. Please view our training options below.

NeuroMaker Professional Development and Training Menu

Class Materials and Syllabus

Enter the World of BCI

Module One: Enter the World of BCI

Lesson 1: NeuroMaker BCI 101

This lesson will outline the main goals of Brain Computer Interface Technology and provide students and teachers with a taste of the exciting lessons and activities they will complete.

This lesson is all about generating excitement for the exciting world we are about to investigate! In this lesson, the educator will deliver a short presentation to introduce some of the concepts that will be learned, play a video that will introduce students to the greater world of Brain Computer Interface and then allow students to discuss what they believe this technology is capable of doing. Hold onto those discussion thoughts because we will revisit these later in the course!

  • Welcome students and educators to the world of Brain Computer Interface
  • Provide a brief description of the devices that will be used
  • Facilitate a discussion for students to produce theories over what these materials are capable of doing
  • Prepare the classroom to deliver a 20 minute lecture provided in the class materials
  • Distribute the discussion questions for students to discuss together
  • Allow students approximately ten minutes to discuss these questions in small groups and then discuss results from each group together with the entire class.

Lesson 2: Setting Up Your Technology

This lesson will introduce students and teachers with walkthroughs of the technology you will use in this course. By the end of this lesson, all participants will be able to set up, maintain and properly use your BCI technology.

If necessary, please use as much class time as necessary to complete the lesson objectives. Students should not forward with any additional lessons until the device checklist has been completed.

In this lesson, students will learn about the BCI devices they will be using for this curriculum, examples of what other students have made with these devices, a preview of the full curriculum progression and will set up their technology. We hope students will be excited to continue! Please note that this lesson will require technology set up for each student or group of students working with a BCI device. These objectives will most likely require the most organization than any of the other lessons.

  • Understand how the NeuroMaker BCI device they are working with fits into the larger picture of Brain Computer Interface technology.
  • Preview a few of the basic functions of their BCI device.
  • Preview and get excited for the activities and objectives students will complete in this curriculum.
  • Properly set up their BCI devices.
  • Prepare the classroom to deliver a 20 minute lecture provided in the class materials
  • Prepare to assign one BCI device to each student or student groups depending on whether the device to student ratio is 1:1 or 1:2. 
  • Ensure that students have compatible computers for the device they are using. Focus 1 devices require a Windows 10 or MacOS Big Sur PC while Crimson devices can use any internet enabled laptop with a Chrome browser.
  • After the lecture is complete, please distribute the device set up page and device set up checklist to each student. We highly recommend that students set up their own devices so they can work as independently as possible throughout this curriculum.
  • Don’t forget to give yourself a high five at the end of this lesson! Once these devices are set up everything gets easier :).

Neurotech Fundamentals

Module Two: Neurotech Fundamentals

Lesson 1: Neuroscience Fundamentals

Learn the fundamentals of Neuroscience that correspond with your BCI devices. Students will learn the structure and function of the neurons which create the electrical signals that we will investigate.

In this lesson, students will learn the structure and behavior of different nerve systems in the brain. This understanding will assist learners as they discover the relationship between measurable electrical activity inside of the brain with the visualized data they will be using in the rest of the course. Students will begin with a teacher delivered lecture assisted by probing questions. After the completion of the lecture slides, students will cement their understanding with a worksheet that will also guide partner discussions.

  • Identify the role of a neuron
  • Understand the role of neurons working together in brain systems
  • Understand the main lobes of the brain and their function
  • Prepare the classroom to deliver a 20 minute lecture provided in the class materials
  • Prepare one lab activity document for each group of students working together. Group size is recommended at 2 to 4 people. The lab notebook can either be delivered as a copied Google document or a printed out worksheet.

Lesson 2: EEG Fundamentals

Using our new knowledge of the brain and our BCI devices, we will investigate the world of electroencephalography (EEG)! Here we will learn how EEG works, how your device utilizes EEG signals and how to use your NeuroMaker BCI Connect software to create brainwave recordings.

In this lesson, students will learn the basics of EEG technology. After learning about basic brain structure and neurons in lesson 1, students will be able to discover how EEG technology can detect this signals with the NeuroMaker BCI headset. The class will begin with a 20 minutes lecture of EEG technology and will follow with a lab portion. In the lab, students will work with partners to complete a lab worksheet and then take their first EEG data recordings using the BCI Connect software. 

  • Identify what is EEG and why it is used.
  • Understand the brain regions detected by NeuroMaker BCI hardware
  • Understand how to appropriately wear NeuroMaker BCI hardware and connect it with NeuroMaker BCI software
  • Take 3 sample recordings of EEG data with NeuroMaker BCI Connect
  • Prepare the classroom to deliver a 20 minute lecture provided in the class materials
  • Prepare one lab activity document for each group of students working together. Group size is recommended at 2 to 4 people. The lab notebook can either be delivered as a copied Google document or a printed out worksheet.
  • Ensure that each BCI Headset is paired with each student or student group.

Lesson 3: EEG Artifacts

Your NeuroMaker BCI software and hardware are able to detect all kinds of different electrical activity from your head including artifacts! Artifacts are signals made from things like eye blinks, moving your jaw and more. We will use these to better understand the raw EEG signals located on your NeuroMaker BCI Connect dashboard.

In this lesson, students will create their first independently created EEG signals called artifacts. The raw EEG data presented on the NeuroMaker BCI Connect software measures any kind of electrical activity detected on the scalp, from brain signals all the way to the small electrical signals made when you move muscles on your head like your jaws and eyebrows. Artifacts are a simple way to see the changes on your raw EEG values, which will be explored much more in subsequent lessons. As an activity, students will record data from their own eyeblink, jaw clench and baseline EEG data and see what is happening inside their head from real scientific equipment!

  • Understand that raw electrical signals we call raw EEG are the foundation of our brainwaves
  • Understand that all algorithms used in future lessons come from our raw EEG values
  • Understand the source of EEG artifacts
  • This class will be student-discussion led. Please give students access to the following article which can either be read in class or prior to the class begins: Introduction to Raw EEG
  • Please use the discussion points in order to facilitate class discussion and cement the lesson objectives.
  • Please use the provided lab notebook and ensure that students are able to view or record at least three different artifacts: an eye blink, a jaw clench and an eyebrow moving. Special points are awarded if a student can think of other artifacts they can create!

Lesson 4: EEG Brainwaves

Heard of alpha waves before? Well, NeuroMaker BCI can detect those and more! In this lesson, we will investigate the most commonly seen brainwaves that NeuroMaker BCI can detect and will learn how these create the building blocks of the attention and meditation algorithms we will use in the future.

In this lesson, students will see the connection between their raw EEG values and the other brainwaves that the NeuroMaker BCI system can detect. This lesson will introduce the main brainwaves used by neuroscientists to detect brain activity and will direct our learning goals to seeing the building block of the attention and meditation algorithm we will discuss in the next two lessons. We won’t use each brainwave that often in the rest of this curriculum, however it is important for students to understand the purpose of these brainwaves for our further exploration.

  • Understand that each of the brainwaves discussed in this lesson can be derived from the Raw EEG Data.
  • Learn the basic role of each major brainwave: Beta, Alpha, Delta, Theta and Gamma.
  • View Alpha wave changes in real time with the NeuroMaker BCI Connect software when students open and close their eyes.
  • This class will be student-discussion led. Please give students access to the following article which can either be read in class or prior to the class begins: Introduction to Brainwaves
  • Please use the discussion points in order to facilitate class discussion and cement the lesson objectives.
  • Please allow students to use the BCI Connect software and view their dashboard. Use the principles in the Introduction to Brainwaves article to allow them to experiment and see which waves they can find changes in. Blinking often while viewing Alpha waves is your sure fire way to get results!
  • Please note, getting accurate wave data is incredibly precise and most students won’t be able to make research quality inferences from their BCI devices without extra computing tools. For greater measurements in attention and relaxation, the attention and meditation algorithms included in NeuroMaker BCI taught in the next two lessons will be much easier to work with for our goals.

Lesson 5: Measuring Attention with EEG

What is attention? When we become engaged or attentive in a certain activity, our brain produces special signals that we can measure with our BCI sets. We will define our understanding of attention here, which will power our labs and projects in the future.

In this class, students will investigate the first of two pre-built algorithms to investigate neurotechnology! In this lesson, students will learn about how attention is measured with EEG. Students will learn a little bit about how this algorithm was designed, how it is used and develop their own understanding of what their own measurable focus is. 

  • Understand what the attention algorithm measures and become familiar with its use.
  • Understand that these readings will be taken on a 0 to 100 scale, with very high engagement at 100 and low level engagement at a 0. 
  • Develop working knowledge of these principles. Important: While students do not need to master understanding and using this reading just yet, this will be the algorithm we will use frequently in later lessons. Any present lack of understanding in these concepts can be revisited in later training exercises.
  • This class will be student-discussion led. Please give students access to the following article which can either be read in class or prior to the class begins: Introduction to Attention
  • Please use the discussion points in order to facilitate class discussion and cement the lesson objectives. The teacher guide can be found here.
  • After the discussion with the students has completed, please allow students to experiment with the strategies outlines in the article to rise and lower their attention scores. Students should NOT be expected to be experts at this. The entire next unit will be devoted to training their skills with this algorithm. All that is important at this stage is that students understand the basic concepts of this algorithm.
  • If necessary, you can show examples of engagement with different activities in our Sample Data. Please note a few of these activities will be tailored to our meditation algorithm that we will cover in the next lesson!
  • Have fun! Take readings while reading a book, discussing with a classmate, or whatever other activities the students can think of.

Lesson 6: Measuring Meditation with EEG

What is meditation? Just like the attention we learned last lesson, bringing our brain to a relaxed state creates a special pattern of electrical activity that we can measure we our NeuroMaker BCI set. We will define a Neuroscience based definition of meditation here and will use this to create future neurofeedback experiments.

In this class, students will investigate the second of two pre-built algorithms to investigate neurotechnology! In this lesson, students will learn about how meditation activity is measured with EEG. Students will learn a little bit about how this algorithm was designed, how it is used and develop their own understanding of what their own measurable relaxation is. 

  • Understand what the meditation algorithm measures and become familiar with its use.
  • Understand that these readings will be taken on a 0 to 100 scale, with very high relaxation at 100 and low level relaxation at a 0. 
  • Develop working knowledge of these principles. Important: While students do not need to master understanding and using this reading just yet, this will be the algorithm we will use frequently in later lessons. Any present lack of understanding in these concepts can be revisited in later training exercises.
  • This class will be student-discussion led. Please give students access to the following article which can either be read in class or prior to the class begins: Introduction to Meditation
  • Please use the discussion points in order to facilitate class discussion and cement the lesson objectives. The teacher guide can be found here.
  • After the discussion with the students has completed, please allow students to experiment with the strategies outlines in the article to rise and lower their meditation scores. Students should NOT be expected to be experts at this. The entire next unit will be devoted to training their skills with this algorithm. All that is important at this stage is that students understand the basic concepts of this algorithm.
  • If necessary, you can show examples of engagement with different activities in our Sample Data. As mentioned in the previous lesson, there will be some data in here that is focused on our attention algorithm.
  • This is a phenomenal opportunity to develop some “quiet time” in the classroom. Encouraging students to raise their meditation scores while staying calm and collected for 5 minutes or more will yield the best results.

Lesson 7: Neurofeedback Lab Set Up

By now we have a pretty good conceptual understanding of what our technology can read when we are blinking, focusing, meditating and more. We are ready to take on the next segment of our journey: Neurofeedback. In this lesson, we will define what Neurofeedback is and get ready to spend the next module on perfecting this.

In this class, students will investigate the relationship between the concepts they have learned in the current unit to real life applications of Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is a procedure of using recognizable brain activity to determine patterns a person can use to train their behavior. For example, if a person using a NeuroMaker BCI headset discovers that it is difficult to maintain attention levels above a 65 for one minute, this person could practice staying above this value by finding ways to reduce distractions. This data can provide clear patterns of how people interact with the world around them.

This class will be an opportunity to realize the bigger world of this field of study and prepare students for a series of Neurofeedback exercises in the following Neurofeedback Unit.

  • Understand what Neurofeedback is and how it is used in real industry.
  • Understand how data formed with NeuroMaker BCI can be used to recognize patterns in attention and meditation.
  • Allows students to become used to developing procedures to measure their own engagement and relaxation with the world around them in the following unit.

Neurofeedback Exploration

Module Three: Neurofeedback Exploration

Section 1: Attention Lab

Now that we understand the fundamentals of the brain and our technology, it’s time to develop our own personal cognitive skills. In this unit, we will focus on Neurofeedback which is the practice of training our brain to operate the way we want based on the readings we can see. We will start with honing our attention metrics and use the following lab time to better control how engaged we are with something through many different fun activities!

This series of exercises will be centered on finding activities and experiences that discover what cognitively engages students. Students will be encouraged to guide their own discovery either individually or in groups and conduct their own experiments to determine what raises and lowers their attention score. 

  • Hypothesize what activities will raise or lower a student’s attention score based on their understanding from Unit 2
  • Generate a description of what engages a student best in whatever format the student choses!
  • Complete all of the “Attention Lab Challenges” and collect notes in the student “Neurofeedback Notebook
  • All of the content in Unit 3 is intended to be student discovery led. Please allow students to conduct experiments using their Neurofeedback notebook. Copies of the Neurofeedback notebook should be provided to each student or group of student working through this material.
  • All students must have their BCI headsets, computer and NeuroMaker BCI software functioning. They will also need to understand how to collect data files using NeuroMaker BCI materials. Refreshers on these skills can be found here:
  • Students may progress through each of the challenges in the NeuroMaker BCI Attention Lab Challenges at their own pace. In case any student groups finish their challenges, they are welcome to move to the next lesson within Unit 3.
  • Students will have successfully completed each challenge when they have filled out the information in their Lab notebooks and have a data file that proves their challenge completion!

Section 2: Meditation Lab

Now that we have a good understanding of our attention and engagement, let’s reverse course and see how well we can relax our mind. Using the EEG principles we have learned, we can measure how meditative we are in real time. Let’s use the Neurofeedback exercises we learned to see what relaxes us best through a series of exercises.

This series of exercises will be centered on finding activities and experiences that discover what relaxes students. Students will be encouraged to guide their own discovery either individually or in groups and conduct their own experiments to determine what raises and lowers their meditation score. 

  • Hypothesize what activities will raise or lower a student’s meditation score based on their understanding from Unit 2.
  • Conduct 5 different Neurofeedback experiments in order to compare experimental results with student led-hypotheses using a Neurofeedback notebook
  • Generate a description of what relaxes a student best in whatever format the student choses!
  • All of the content in Unit 3 is intended to be student discovery led. Please allow students to conduct experiments using their Neurofeedback notebook. Copies of the Neurofeedback notebook should be provided to each student or group of students working through this material.
  • All students must have their BCI headsets, computer and NeuroMaker BCI software functioning. They will also need to understand how to collect data files using NeuroMaker BCI materials. Refreshers on these skills can be found here:
  • Students may progress through each of the challenges in the NeuroMaker BCI Meditation Lab Challenges at their own pace. In case any student groups finish their challenges, they are welcome to move to the next lesson within Unit 3.
  • Students will have successfully completed each challenge when they have filled out the information in their Lab notebooks and have a data file that proves their challenge completion!

Section 3: Training Lab

Through the past two labs, we now have a better understanding of what makes us engaged and makes us relaxed. In our next module, we will learn to control objects with our mind, which means we will need to master how well we can use the attention algorithm. In this series of labs, we will train our minds to become relaxed or engaged at will to power our BCI projects!

By now, we have a basic understanding of what activities and materials engage us or allow us to relax. Now our true brain training begins! Our next unit will be fully focused on using our attention score to control outside devices, so we will need to become masters of focus. In these exercises, we will train our brain to create the score that we want. We will provide 5 different challenges for students to complete which will give them the power to move their attention scores up and down reliably.

  • Complete five different cognitive challenges to help better control your attention score.
  • Develop a 2-3 different mental strategies in order to set your attention score close to the value you seek to maintain or reach.
  • Establish a personal attention score zone of control you can reliably work within. The next series of activities will require us to know which attention values work best for us.
  • All of the content in Unit 3 is intended to be student discovery led. Please allow students to conduct experiments using their Neurofeedback notebook. Copies of the Neurofeedback notebook should be provided to each student or group of students working through this material.
  • All students must have their BCI headsets, computer and NeuroMaker BCI software functioning. They will also need to understand how to collect data files using NeuroMaker BCI materials. Refreshers on these skills can be found here:
  • Students may progress through each of the challenges in the NeuroMaker BCI Training Lab Challenges at their own pace. In case any student groups finish their challenges, they are welcome to create their own personal challenges to better master the attention algorithm.
  • Students will have successfully completed each challenge when they have filled out the information in their Lab notebooks and have a data file that proves their challenge completion!

Brain Powered Device Control

Module Four: Brain Powered Device Control

Lesson 1: The World of BCI

It’s time to build our own BCI devices! Before we put to work the skills we have learned in the above units, we will investigate the bigger world of brain powered device control and put some ideas on paper.

In this lesson, we will define the concepts surrounding Brain Computer Interface with the knowledge we have acquired in the past two units. Students will get an idea of the projects they can build with their materials to control with their BCI signals. Finally, we will devote some time to make sure that students have the appropriate software installed to conduct programming on outside devices with their brain.

  • Be able to recognize applications of BCI technology with physical hardware
  • Ideate some ways that we can use the skills we learned in the past unit to build technology systems.
  • Ensure that our programming environment is ready for the next lessons!
  • Prepare to deliver a 15 minute long presentation that will outline the transition from our previous learning to controlling outside devices
  • Identify which hardware students will be able to use for device control. This module is centered around the Arduino UNO R3 microcontroller. 
  • Use the remainder of the class period to prepare the materials and coding environment tools necessary to complete the remainder of the unit.

Lesson 2: Using Serial Communication and BCI

You may have noticed that we haven’t used the “Serial” option on our BCI Connect software just yet. Well those days are over! Today we are going to discuss the serial communication rules that will allow us to connect our attention data to whatever projects we can think of. 

In this lesson, students will learn how to connect their Neuromaker BCI devices to a controllable board. Students will upload their first BCI program to an Arudino Uno controller and use their attention score to control the speed of a blinking light. This lesson will establish best practices in order to best use the Serial port communication from NeuroMaker BCI headsets to a programmable controller.

  • Understand how to import code from a provided sample to a student device.
  • Understand the basic principles of Serial communication we will need to send brain data from our computer to an outside controller
  • Build our very first Brain Computer Interface system with one LED light!
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Unit is fully charged
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is running properly
  • Prepare the following items for each BCI device:
    • One UNO board
    • One USB cable 
  • Provide students with this link with text and video resources to build this project
  • Check that students have completed this activity by controlling the speed their light blinks!

Lesson 3: Create a Brain Powered LED Display

Huzzah! Our brain can officially control other devices. Let’s take the project we created last a step further by controlling 3 LED lights instead of just one. 

In this lesson, students will be provided with the materials and skills necessary to control a series of lights using BCI technology. Students will use the attention training they conducted in Unit 3 to control a series of LED lights to light up depending on the current attention state. This project will set the tone for the remainder of our following activities, as we will combine a little bit of electrical engineering, neurotechnology and programming together to build true STEM projects!

  • Control three different actuators (in this case LEDs) with BCI technology
  • Understand that our controller can allow us to control other devices with BCI hardware.
  • Develop visual methods of visualizing our brain activity.
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Unit is fully charged
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is running properly
  • Provide students with this link with text and video resources to build this project
  • Check that each group of students have completed the activity by controlling three LED lights!
  • Ensure each group of students has the following materials:
    • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit
    • One Uno Board
    • USB cable 
    • Computer
    • At least four Male to Male Jumper Wires
    • Three current limiting resistors
    • Three LED lights: One red, one yellow and one blue
    • One Breadboard

Lesson 4: Create a Brain Powered Mood Lamp

We can control different lights on and off but what about changing colors? Let’s put our BCI skills to work by displaying our brain engagement with any color we can think of.

In this lesson, students will create different color combinations they can control with their brain. We will introduce the unique circuitry of RGB LEDs and also provide the different combinations of red, green and blue that create colors in the same way our TV screens, computers and cell phones function. We will wrap up this project by combining all of this knowledge together to create whatever colors a student wishes to project with their own brain signals!

  • Understand the properties of an RGB LED.
  • Understand the decimal values of red, green and blue that can create different colors.
  • Understand how to control colors a student wishes to create using their attention scores.
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Unit is fully charged
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is running properly
  • Provide students with this link with text and video resources to build this project
  • Check that each group of students have completed the activity by creating different LED colors with the materials provided.
  • Ensure each group of students has the following materials:
    • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit
    • One Uno Board
    • USB cable 
    • Computer
    • At least four Male to Male Jumper Wires
    • Three current limiting resistors (This above video uses 250 Ohm resistors)
    • One RGB LED
    • One Breadboard
    • One ping pong ball with a hole cut in the bottom (optional)

Lesson 5: Create Brain Powered Sounds

We have officially mastered light control with our brain! What else can we do? Hmmm how about sound?!  Using our attention alorithm, a piezo buzzer and some code, we can make sounds that are controlled by our brain.

In this lesson, students will learn the basics of controlling the pitch of different sounds created by a passive piezo buzzer. This piece of simple electronics equipment will allow us to create any sound we want. For our purposes in this lesson, we will create 49 different whole notes that will control with our attention score.

  • Understand the basics of sound control using a piezo buzzer
  • Understand the basic use of the Arduino tone function
  • Use integer math and the attention score value to select notes we wish to play
  • IMPORTANT: Students will be creating sounds in this lesson. In case there are multiple groups working together in the same room please be aware this could get a bit noisy (and fun).
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Unit is fully charged
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is running properly
  • Provide students with this link with text and video resources to build this project
  • Check that each group of students have completed the activity by playing different notes with their attention score!
  • Ensure each group of students has the following materials:
    • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit
    • One Uno Board
    • USB cable 
    • Computer
    • At least two Male to Male Jumper Wires
    • One Passive Piezo buzzer
    • One Breadboard

Lesson 6: Control a Motor with Your Brain

We are now ready to move objects with our brain data! In this lesson we will investigate the principles behind controlling a servo motor with our attention scores by building a physical attention score display.

In this lesson, students will use their attention values to control a servo motor! We will use the servo motor to create an attention display that acts like a clock. Students will have the choice of creating whatever background or display they wish to display their current attention state.

  • Set up a simple circuit to control a servo motor.
  • Design and decorate your own attention dial using basic paper or coloring materials.
  • Ideate different ways this technology can be used for other BCI projects.
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Unit is fully charged
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is running properly
  • Provide students with this link with text and video resources to build this project
  • Check that each group of students have completed the activity by moving a motor according to their attention score!
  • Ensure each group of students has the following materials:
    • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit
    • One Uno Board
    • One Servo Motor: This demo uses a the servo motor from  the NeuroMaker Hand, but other models also work
    • Three male to male jumper wires
    • A background for a display: a paper plate, piece of paper or anything else you can think of!
    • Drawing materials like markers or pencils
    • USB cable 
    • Computer

Lesson 7: Control a Brain Powered Prosthetic Hand

Walk in the footsteps of real assistive technology scientists as we control the movements of a prosthetic hand using our brain signals!

In this lesson, we will follow in the footsteps of a real BCI project conducted at the Harvard iLab. Students will build on the knowledge learned in the previous servo project to extend their skills in controlling five servos motors at once, one for each finger. We will use a built NeuroMaker Hand to complete this project.

  • Understand how to expand the control of multiple servo motors with different attention states.
  • Understand how to make connections between Brain Computer Interface technology and Biomedical hardware.
  • Experiment with specialized applications of a prosthetic hand.
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Unit is fully charged
  • Ensure that NeuroMaker BCI Connect Software is running properly
  • Provide students with this link with text and video resources to build this project
  • Check that each group of students have completed the activity by moving their NeuroMaker Hand according to their attention score!
  • Ensure each group of students has the following materials:
    • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit
    • One NeuroMaker BCI Unit
    • One fully built NeuroMaker Hand
    • Computer

Impact and Ethics

Module Five: Impact and Ethics

Lesson 1: Introduction to Neuroethics

Neurotechnology is reaching new heights. Beyond devices in the hospital, humans now have the power to control devices using their brain and enhance themselves with specialized brain training and even neuroal implants. This presents nearly unlimited possibilities but also important ethical questions. What are the impacts on society of neural-advanced humans? How does a paralyzed patient consent to neurological devices that can restore lost functions? We will investigate these questions and more in this lesson.

In this lesson, students will be provided with industry level websites and other materials that are investigating the field of Neuroethics. Using these materials and the investigations they have already conducted in the previous units, students will be required to build their own understandings of these ethical decisions.

  • Understand the definition of Neuroethics
  • Explore three different applications of Brain Computer Interface Technology
  • Discuss the limitations and potential of BCI technology
  • This class will be student discovery led. Please allow students to work in groups of 2-4 people each.
  • Provide each group of students with the materials located in class materials.
  • Allow students approximately 20 minutes to use those materials to answer the following questions:
    • In your own words, what is Neuroethics?
    • What are some examples of Neuroethics problems future society must deal with?
    • What previous projects have we completed in the past curriculum might show us important things we need to consider from a Neuroethics point of view?
  • Please allow the class to discuss these items together.

Lesson 2: Introduction to an Open Sourced World

The field of brain-computer interface is quite new. In fact, the words “brain computer interface” only appeared in any quantity in the past 20 years. Therefore, anyone entering this field must understand standard research and creative commons use norms to build and create their own applications with this technology. In this lesson we explore how to properly research and cite other’s work and even build up our own open source library!

In this lesson, students will be exposed to open source and creative commons practices and apply these concepts in their own research. These class materials will introduce concepts like 21st century skills, intellectual property, plagiarism and citation and finally how open source and creative commons frameworks work within these systems. 

  • Understand how 21st century learning skills are related to crediting work to others
  • Understand the concepts of intellectual property, plaigarism, open source and creative commons
  • Understand how the above concepts are used in musics, images, video, software and other media
  • Understand how the law protects those who create new materials and how to research these in greater depth
  • Cement this understand through analysis of real life examples
  • Prepare to deliver a 15 minute presentation
  • Prepare to divide the class into four groups, to investigate these concepts using a class worksheet.
  • Prepare all students to present all of their finding to the whole class as different groups. Students can also arrange their materials into a Google Drive folder outlining all of the licensed materials they have researched.

BCI Design Thinking

Module Six: BCI Design Thinking

BCI Design Thinking

Congratulations for learning all of these new Neurotechnology skills! From the examples we have completed above, you are now ready to think of your own projects within the world of Brain Computer Interface. 

This module is organized into a series of resources and materials that will guide students through creating their own BCI projects. Using design thinking frameworks, students will be able to guide their own creations that target real world applications of BCI technology. This module is not intended to be delivered as a series of different classes and instead is to be used as a framework for students to develop their own applications.

  • Empathize with a group you wish to assist with BCI technology
  • Define a problem to solve using BCI technology
  • Ideate different BCI solutions to solve this problem
  • Prototype your BCI solution
  • Test your BCI prototype
  • Allow students to work together in groups. Each group will work through the frameworks in the BCI Design Thinking Guide.
  • Students should be given enough time to conduct research, build a prototype and test their solution. There is no definitive amount of time for this project but we at NeuroMaker recommend at least six 50 minute class sessions to allow students to take on more integrated thoughts and work through unanticipated problems.
  • There is no right or wrong answer to these projects! Anything that students can create and test is welcome.
  • It is recommended that the last class session allows students time to present their work and allow other groups to test.