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This Helmet Has a Brain

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Ben Stanton/Iowa Public Radio
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Shawn Cornally holds a student-designed helmet with concussion detection hardware. (host Ben Kieffer in background)

The brain on this helmet is designed with the idea of protecting your brain from a concussion. Built into it is what amounts to a small computer.  It was designed and programmed by an Iowa student.  

Different LEDs light up depending on how hard the helmet is getting jostled. This project is one of many that students might get involved in through The Big Ideas Group, which is an optional education program through the Cedar Rapids School District.

Headmaster of The Big Ideas Group Shawn Cornally says students need to learn to science, technology, and math by doing it.  He says that it "gives kids the ability to dig in and say 'I need to know how to program, I need to know some math, but I'm learning it to produce this thing that solves a problem' as opposed to 'I'm learning it for the sake of learning it.'"

Cornally will be speaking on this topic the afternoon of Saturday, April 5 as part of the tech convention portion of the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City.

Hear the full interview with Cornally:

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New TechSTEMEducation
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River