Sign In

The Science Lab


Troll Physics by Anonymous.Somewhere in the world there is a scientist by the name of Bozkurt who, maybe even right this very moment, is working on perfecting the wireless control of an army of cyborg cockroaches for use in search and rescue. And while crazy Bozkurt is lording over his insectoid Navy Seals, thousands of miles away a neuroscientist, this one named Sukhvinder Obhi, is using EMG to show how the brains of people in power could be getting robbed of empathy. Meanwhile, artist Joyce Yu-Jean Lee attends a workshop in Washington, D.C. so she can learn to create video art installations powered by the beating heart of an Arduino microcontroller.

Scientists, artists and engineers all over the world are using technology, creative insight and the maker spirit to develop ideas that nobody else has ever thought of before, to discover things that nobody has ever seen, to make things that have never before existed.

Jumping in

Science LabYou don’t have to have a Ph.D. to get started making something different. In fact, you can do it at the library.

The Science Lab is a new twice-monthly experiment for teens in science and technology at both the Brisbane and Millbrae libraries. We'll build robots, grow bacteria, solder and program electronic gadgets, and just generally mess around with nature and technology. Each event will consist of two projects—one epic, one lightweight, both fun. Some projects are ongoing and will build on skills learned in previous sessions, others are built for anyone to jump right into.

In September we’ll begin work on a robotic rover and learn how to solder, then start construction of our 2-channel Spikerbox, a device from Backyard Brains which consists of a circuit and set of electrodes that let you hear and see spikes (i.e. action potentials) of real living neurons in invertebrates.

So we’re going to need some invertebrates. To supply us with an unending supply of wriggly little insects, the Brisbane Library will be running a cockroach farm, where we’ll attempt to practice cockroach husbandry with all the cool and grace of, well, people who are absolutely terrified of cockroaches.

The Future

We’re not stopping there. We’ve also got plans to culture bacteria, build a helium blimp, experiment with basic chemistry, program with both Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and, frankly, whatever else you can help us think up. After all, this is about creative thinking, discovery and imagination. We’ll need ideas. We’ll need your help.

Join Us

Check out the below dates and drop by for some fun. For any questions, please contact Vincent Rupp Jr.. Teens ages 12-19 can register by calling the phone numbers listed below, or by filling out this online form.

Millbrae Library
Phone number: (650) 697-7607

  • 9/24 4-6 PM
  • 10/8 4-6 PM
  • 10/22 4-6 PM
  • 11/19 4-6 PM

Brisbane Library
Phone number: (415) 467-2060

  • 9/16 4-6 PM
  • 9/30 4-6 PM
  • 10/28 4-6 PM
  • 11/11 4-6 PM
  • 11/25 4-6 PM


Author Bio:

Vincent Rupp Jr. is a Library Assistant at the Brisbane Library.