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Brains and Beakers: Secrets Of Science Reporting

Alexis Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal has been called “the perfect modern reporter.” He’s written for The New York Times, Wired, and is now a senior editor of the Atlantic magazine, where he runs their technology section. He recently joined us at Brains and Beakers, Youth Radio’s regular gathering where we hear from some of the biggest scientific thinkers, right here in our Oakland studios. What exactly do whales see? Why is there sand in toothpaste? How do you come…

Brains and Beakers: Gamifying Air Pollution

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…and support cultural change. He’s an assistant professor for new media at UC Berkeley, and presented at the last Brains and Beakers event, Youth Radio’s quarterly science lecture series. Niemeyer presented his new open-source game, “AirQuest,” at this event. It blends bmx bike racing with real world challenges like managing asthma and responding to air pollution. The air pollution in the game is based off of actual air quality measurements around…

Brains and Beakers: Reinventing Musical Instruments

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Welcome to Brains and Beakers 2010! Ever wondered how to make drums out of PVC pipe? Or Light-Emitting Diode (LED) graffiti? That’s the kind of stuff we do at Youth Radio’s Brains and Beakers events. Four times per year, scientists come to Youth Radio’s studios in Downtown Oakland to demo their discoveries, methods, and inventions. Students interview the scientists and create media out of these dynamic dialogues. This month&#…

Brains and Beakers: Rapping on Science

By Chantell Williams A couple years ago I wrote a song about geography to the tune of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. I still remember every single word of that song… too embarrassing to actually write here, but it helped me pass my test. Music can help with learning and memory and can be used as a tool in the classroom. That’s one reason why educator and rapper, Tom McFadden, is bringing battle raps to science class. He created a curriculum t…

Brains & Beakers: Toying with Engineering

Roominate

Two recent Stanford graduates are trying to get more girls interesting in technology — by embedding it in dollhouses. The founders of Roominate, Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen, took the concept of building toys for girls to a whole new level by adding wires and generators. What was originally meant to be just a dollhouse built from colorful building pieces and connectable motors became more as both boys and girls used their kits to create o…