Staff of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Neurotechnology (CNT) have created an outreach blog designed to explain neuroscience and sensorimotor neural engineering to under-represented youth.
The complex field may be hard to understand for young people. Sensorimotor neural engineers study the properties of neural systems (e.g., the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia, and parts of the receptor and effector organs), including sensory systems and motor systems, to identify how engineering techniques can be applied to them.
The outreach blog is a promising practice for increasing the interest in STEM and promoting further study in STEM of groups who are under-represented in these academic and career fields. This vehicle is used to explain advanced engineering concepts using terminology and examples that high school and middle school students can understand and share information about exciting STEM fields. Some examples of blog topics include:
- What Engineers Do When They’re Doing Engineering
- Sensorimotor Demystified
- Nervous Systems
- Biology vs. Technology
Further, the CNT supplements the outreach blog by offering local events and summer programs for youth, such as the Young Scholars Program, which invites high school students onto the University of Washington campus during the summer to work in research labs.