1/12/23: Today, I posted an update on Twitter about our stress study. I also created the scheduling form and email that will be sent out to all of the participants who indicated an interest in continuing with the study. In the board meeting today, we began the mid-year lab assessment. We made it through about half of the labs and will continue the assessment on Jan. 26th,.

Here is the poster that we presented at the Fall 2022 Poster session:

1/5/22: Today I finished a rough draft of my white paper explaining the analysis of how I analyzed the data for the google sheet. The white paper can be found in the WISRD folder under “Active Papers” –> “Life Sciences”–> “Physiology” titled “Physiology Group White Paper Working Draft”. I also tweeted about our board meeting and the mid-year lab assessment that is currently going on.

1/3/22: Notes from morning meeting: review mid-year lab assessments and make sure that they are all in so I can compile the materials and send them to the board. Write a form letter to send out to the participants whose data we analyzed. Finish writing procedure for white paper on how we analyzed the data.

11/29/22: I worked on finishing up the draft of my poster today in WISRD.

11/17/22: Today, I updated our hour of code lesson plan, which can be found here. I worked on updating the graph and finishing up the lesson plan that the teachers will follow. I am also starting to write out the procedure and document how we comb through data to include for our research paper that I am hoping to publish by the end of the year.

11/16/22: Out of everyone who filled out the form, we have identified 11 participants with a growth mindset, 3 with fixed mindsets, and 1 with a neutral mindset. We only counted the very true and not at-all true answers and are still deciding what to do with the somewhat true answers.

11/15/22: Today, I went through all of the data and started to sort it into growth vs. fixed mindsets based on the participant’s responses. We currently have 38 responses, and there is a lot of interest in people wanting to continue their participation. I also worked on finishing up my hour of code video. I am currently waiting on a response to determine what mood meter I should include to base the google sheet on.

11/11/22: I have been working on my Hour of Code project this week in WISRD. I am creating a google sheet and combining it with the mood meter. The purpose is for the students to see how their moods appear on a graph-based off of the emotions from the mood meter. We will also share our video with them to show how the headset works. In other news, our survey was sent out to the high school, and we currently have 30 responses. Out of the 30, 14 have indicated that they are interested in participating in actually having their EEG waves monitored. Responses still rolling in I will start going through the answers to identify students with a growth mindset and students with a fixed mindset. After that is complete. I will reach out to the students to make a time to collect data on their stress levels.

11/02/22: Last week, WISRD hosted Dark Matter Day. It was a huge success, and we had around 400 people show up. WISRD members hosted different booths, such as liquid nitrogen ice cream and physics experiments. We also had the robot up and working. Next year we will need to ensure that we have enough food for everyone and scale up our preparation so that the event goes smoothly. Currently, I am trying to upload my white paper to the WISRD publications site but I am having some trouble getting the PDF to convert to a link that is visible to everyone. I will continue to work on this next class.

10/18/22: I have been working on designing our research project with a set of questions that will be sent out to the entire upper school. I am also starting to work on a white paper. More to come on that. Below is a video that I made explaining our lab:

9/1/22: I am back in the WISRD lab to continue working in the physiology group. At the end of last year, we finished our white paper which can be found here. We also completed the research plan which is guiding our experiment to see if mindset controls stress levels in high school students. For the past couple of days, I have gone through the questions in the PALS manual which are going to be used to choose the participants in the study. The final selection included 19 questions that will help us determine if the participant has a growth or fixed mindset. Once we receive the responses from the survey, we will choose participants based on if they have a fixed or growth mindset.

5/10/22: Today I worked on finishing up the whitepaper. As I move into some of the final weeks of school I would like to get the paper published by next week. I wrote the abstract and added a section on human subject protocols. The last two sections that I need to finish up are the background and the goals section.

5/6/22: We have been running the emotive consistently now so we can streamline the setup process and make sure that we know how to maintain EEG quality. I reached out to Emotiv and this was their response:

“The EEG Quality (EQ) map is measuring the quality of the brain signal for each sensor, and it takes into account movement, noise, signal amplitude, and many other parameters that make it much more sensitive. It is totally normal for the EQ to flicker and it DOES take time for the signal to settle, so adjust each sensor individually, sit still and wait patiently for 3-5 seconds. If the signal flickers green at any point, it’s likely the signal is good, but it is imperative to sit still to see if it maintains the green”.

We are running the emotiv again today to make sure that the fluctuation in the signal is just due to noise. Emotiv also reassured us that “EEG quality behaves very differently to CQ and it is not expected to remain steady at all moments in the recording, particularly if people are not sitting still”.

Time that it took to set up the emotiv headset today

Today running the Emotiv we were able to reach 100% EEG quality in a little under 4 minutes. This is the second time we ran the emotiv we let the sensors dry out overnight and then rehydrated them right before we placed them in the headset. This is the second time we have been able to get our EEG quality to 100% faster and more efficiently.

4/26/22: Last night was the WISRD poster session. I presented the poster attached below.

4/12/22: Yesterday Canada and I ran the emotiv headset to continue to gather data. I wore the headset and played the geometry game. The data that we collected showed that after the baseline test my stress levels spiked after the baseline test. There were dips and peaks in my stress levels which I do not fall in line with the other tests that we have done using the same task. Moving forward we will record our tests to see what environmental factors influenced the spikes.

3/25/22: As we head into spring break Canada and I are emphasizing finishing up the publications we have in the works. We have updated our lab web page, tweeted about the last experiment we read that can be found here, and are in the editing stages of our whitepaper. When we come back from break we plan to focus on running experiments and collect more data. We will analyze that data and hopefully have it in time for the WISRD poster presentation on April 25th. For the poster presentation, we are looking at including a slideshow component to show people who attend a demonstration of us using the EPOC X headset. We were hoping to be able to have attendees try on the headset but we are not sure how easily we would be able to execute this so the slideshow is our backup plan.

3/24/22: I have a white paper draft that will be published soon. I wrote about covers mindset related to eustress and distress, the BCI, current research questions, and our current protocol. When I get back from spring break I hope to have the white paper published and be able to go on to start planning for my seminar on learning impacted by stress.

3/10/22: Today I explored options on how to build our experiment in a way that will connect with the emotiv headset. Our current options are the emotiv experiment builder, psychopy and node red. We are also defining our research plan and writing our hypothesis that focuses on the impacts of eustress and how it is beneficial to learning. We hope to be able to test this by looking at the engagement levels and seeing what the stress level is of the participant when engagement and focus levels are elevated.

3/8/22: The Emotiv guide can be found here:

3/7/22: We are working on downloading node-red so we can begin to create our own experiment. Canada ran some tests last week and we have been able to confirm that the emotiv works consistently. The next step is to determine our research plan and look at ways we can create it to test for certain variables. I have been working on my white paper which will hopefully be done next week. I am covering the background information, the troubleshooting we have done, and also preliminary research on mindsets and how that contributes to stress levels, specifically good and bad stress.

2/28/22: Today I started working on my whitepaper on the BCI and how we are using it in our project.

2/14/22: We ran the emotiv on a subject this week where we were able to monitor their EEG waves with 100% connectivity and contract quality. We took a different approach to the testing and had them play a computer game while wearing the emotiv headset. The task was to press the space bar every time they saw a pentagon followed by a star appear on the screen. This was a task that elevated engagement levels and focus levels. The most notable change in their EEG waves was that immediately when the game started their stress levels spiked and remained fairly high thought the game. After they had played for about a minute their stress levels began to decline. It will be interesting to run this same test on someone else to see what their response is, while specifically looking at stress levels.

2/7/22: Last week we tested the Emotiv again and were able get 100% connectivity which enabled us to be able to start collecting data. We got strong readings that measured my engagement, focus, and stress levels. The only problem we had with this was for some reason the EEG quality was fluctuating and wasn’t consistently staying at 100%. We are still trying to figure out why this is before we begin testing on other people

1/31/22: This past week we have accomplished a lot of things in the Physiology group. The week started out running the epoc x on a new subject and we reached 100% connectivity and 100% eeg quality. We were able to run an activity where our subject was able to move a block on the Emotiv BCI using mental commands. We are trying a new approach to improving our eeg connectivity by adding a little bit of saline to our felt sensors every day to help keep them damp which improves the resistance between the gold plate and the sensor. Another thing we did was have a meeting with Alex Stern who is a therapist and has lots of knowledge about adolescent stress. Talking with Alex helped us define our research plan. We also have been writing a consent form that we will use for future participants in our lab to sign.

1/20/22: Today I worked on drafting a research plan

1/13/22: Canada and I have been working on finding a way to make the connectivity readings on the new emotiv more consistent. Currently, we are trying to improve the resistance between the felt pads and sensors to improve the EEG waves detected. Another thing we are doing is updating all of the software. Ideally, we would be receiving upwards of 98% connectivity but the highest connectivity we have reached is around 50%.

11/15/21: I have an interview coming up with Dr. Rothbaum who is a professor at Emory University and specializes in PTSD treatment. Dr. Rothbaum published the first study showing that a virtual environment could be used for effective exposure therapy. I am interviewing her to get insights on what future directions she sees her work going in and also to learn more about the psychological impact VR has on the brain. I am also curious about how the effect of presence provokes or activates the fear structure in

11/9/21: WISRD has a successful poster session last night. I talked to lots of people about our project and shared how the brainwaves lab is looking into incorporating VR into the emotiv lab as a possible collaboration.

11/2/21: We have officially ordered a new emotiv headset to help the brainwaves group expand our lab to start conducting research. We ordered the emotiv x headset which has 14 channel sensors and has 16 saline hydrating pads that detect EEG waves.

9/21/21: In the most recent test we ran we used the epoc+ to see if we would detect EEG waves with it. When we launched the Emotiv BCI program it showed up as 0% connectivity even though the two major sensory points were green. We made sure the sensors were making direct contact with the scalp and tried rehydrating all of the sensors and the connectivity was held constant at 0%. Something that could be affecting the connectivity is that there were multiple sensors that did not have a working felt sensor attached. To fix this we ordered a new 16 pack of felt sensors that we can attach to the epoc+. We decided to try to run the BCI software anyways and we were able to detect faint EEG waves. We had enough of a signal picked up that we were able to run the facial expressions software which is where you can control a virtual face by making different expressions on your own face which is pictured below.

Emotiv app preview of connectivity of Epoc+

Running Emotiv BCI to detect facial expressions and replicate them virtually

9/14/21: We are working on the outline of a video to help publicize our work on emotiv.

9/13/21: Today the connectivity would not go above 0% while using the Epoc Flex. We are now working in the library to avoid the interfering signals that are in the WISRD lab. This was effective and the Epoc Flex connected to the Emotiv pro app easily. We put connectivity gel in each of the sensors and it made some of the sensors light up green occasionally, but nothing consistent. Then I put the headset on and we tried a different method of putting on connectivity gel. Instead of putting it on top of the sensor, we put it inside the sensor. This still did not help improve the connectivity but we noticed that it did make some sensors stay in the green zone. We think the problem that is keeping us from 100% connectivity is that the sensors are not in direct contact with the scalp because my hair was creating a boundary that was too dense for signals to pass through. Next time we will try to use the Epoc+ which is easier to position in a way that will avoid hair that gets in the way.

9/10/21: Notes from preliminary testing: have to rehydrate sensors in order to get the epoc+ to gain connectivity. Even though we took off of them and put saline solution on them the connectivity only went up to 8%. The Epoc flex is charged and running but there is an issue connecting it to the Emotiv pro app. We think that there are too many signals interfering with the signal trying to connect to the laptop. The next steps are to go to a location where there will be a lower amount of signals interfering so we can start detecting EEG waves.

8/24/21: Since last year in WISRD I have switched to the Emotiv lab. I have been running my lab out of my house since I haven’t been able to run it in the lab. Starting this new school year I am hoping to finish my research projecting and determine a way to detect the signal that indicates the onset of stress. My current objectives for my project are

A. Identify the onset of stress using E-Motiv (Paper)
B. Develop a feedback loop, test if feedback loop can be used to interrupt the onset of stress (Paper)
C. Miniaturize equipment to make it wearable
D. Test in sitsu on kids in classrooms and school settings (Paper)

Emotiv headset in at home lab

10/19/20: In the past month I completed a video recapping what WISRD has done over the summer, organized for the emotiv lab to be stationed at my house so I have access to the headset, and I have met with a writing consultant to work on my article. The article I am writing is about the wildfires that have been happening on the west coast. I was having trouble deciding where to start with my article and what aspects of wildfires I wanted to focus on but in the past couple days I have achieved a more focused vision. My article will be discussing the different ways of preventing wildfires and also what the contentment of wildfires is (eg. what it actually means/ looks like when a fire is 30% contained). My goal for the upcoming week is to come up with a topic for my poster and find posters that previous WISRD members did covering the topic of brainwaves.

8/31/20: This year I am planning on writing about the research done in the Cosmic Ray Array Group and then moving onto the Emotiv lab. There is also a possibility of making a video for WISRD. My goals for this week: come up with article ideas, work on researching Emotiv, and meet with Professor Moreno about writing.

1/16/20: We are looking into the possibility of using a reed switch to turn the payload on and off using a magnetic field.

1/14/20: We tested the new scintillators and got 100 counts, twice the 25 cm^2 detectors. Today I learned how to polish a scintillator. I used the heat gun to run along the sanded edge of the scintillator and slowly melted the material. We organized the parts aswell. I am in the process of coming up with an article for the WISRD magazine. I am in the process of creating a gantt chart to get everything on track.

Using a heat gun at 333 F° to melt scintillator
Overview of polishing scintillator

1/13/20: Today was our CDR. After weeks of preparation, we presented NASA. It was a good experience and they only had positive things to say about WISRD and our payload project. In preparation for the CDR I wish that I spent more time working on my memorization so I would not feel the need to use my paper at all. Axil and I received lots of good feedback from going to Mt. Wilson, and I was complimented on my clearness while I was speaking about the centrifuge. I will take what I learned from this experience and implement it into the presentation coming up in March. Here is the script I used for the CDR:

The purpose of our scientific payload is to build and test low cost, energy, and mass personal-size cosmic ray detectors that can withstand high acceleration flights. 

We believe that Project Mew-on has several applications for NASA, including a safety system for space travelers, the possibility of setting up a cosmic ray network on mars, and using the information from arrays to determine the origin of cosmic rays.

To address NASA’s first suggestion, “Could we characterize the robustness of electronics to 13 g’s in a ground test?” the payload group designed and built a centrifuge capable of testing well beyond 13g’s.

 To construct our centrifuge, we used a discarded motor from UCLA. We attached an arm to the motor and fastened the cosmic ray detector to one end and a counterweight to the other. 

To determine the revolutions per minute necessary to generate a minimum of 13 g’s, we used the following relationships for objects traveling in a circular motion:  

where r is the radius.

And that  can be written in terms of frequency as: 

With a 10 cm radius axis, we determined that 13 g’s could be achieved by 334 rpm. 

The reason we can use centripetal acceleration is because based on einstein’s theory of relativity there is no difference between an acceleration that’s due to gravity or linear acceleration.

At the end, we did a visual inspection for any damage. And we did before and after counts which indicated that the detector had gone through no physical or functional change due to the 13 g’s. we increased the voltage on the motor until we reached 334 RPMs.

We knew we were at 334 RPMs because we had an adjustable strobe light. We adjusted the strobe light to 334 and watched until the gyroscope that was attached to the cosmic ray detector stopped rotating.

To address the third question posed by NASA, “Could we measure the angles and correlate them to cosmic ray counts?”, we found that there is a mathematical relationship between the angle of the scintillator the counts collected. 

Cosmic ray intensity follows a cos2θ function, where θ  is the angle between the scintillator and Earth’s surface. 

This relationship is shown here on the left where cos2θ  = 1 when the normal of the scintillator is perpendicular to earth and zero when the normal is parallel to the earth. In other words, counts are maximized when the scintillator surface is parallel to the horizon and minimized when it is 90 degrees to the horizon.  

The effect of scintillator orientation on cosmic ray counts has been previously tested by WISRD, and these results are shown in the graph on the right.

The graph on the right of the screen indicates a linear function. Between the counts and the cos angle^2. The slope of this line is to remain constant so we should be able to take our data and fit it to that same line.

As we mentioned during our PDR presentation, we would be redesigning the scintillator shape from 5cm x 5cm to a circular shape with a surface area of approximately 11 square inches, that provides 2.8 times more surface area for muon detection. 

WISRD has just cut these new scintillators with a laser cutter, polished them, wrapped them in aluminum foil, attached the photomultiplier, and wrapped them in black electrical tape to make them light-tight. 

We are in the process of testing the new scintillators now. 

12/6/19: Write about the equation: ∆S=1/2(vf-vi)t^2. I need to find the arm length of the centrifuge. Get permission slips. Talk to team Athena about the date for the CDR. Max is almost done printing the new scintillator.

12/5/19: I went over what I need to write for the CDR. I learned about the equation: ∆S=1/2(vf-vi)t^2. I am also preparing for the trip to Mt. Wilson which is coming up on Dec. 15.

12/3/19: Today we were confronted with some problems, the first being that the USB-mini wouldn’t fit into the payload bay. Our solution for this is to re-route the power to the 5V pin on the Arduino. This enables us to use only one of the USB ports on the POM battery. Running both CR detectors only off of

  • 12/3/19–To Do:
  • Set up a time for PG to meet at lunch
  • Find out how long the arm needs to be
  • Go over feedback from PDR
  • CDR presentation
  • Trip to Mt. Wilson ASAP
  • Have Payload Assembled
  • Centrifuge

12/2/19: November recap: In November my main focus was our upcoming PDR. Lots of prep time went into writing out what I would be saying and practice presentations. We received lots of positive feedback from NASA but also questions that will help me think about parts of the payload in a new way. There was a question about how we were going to test if the CR detector can withstand the 13gs.

11/4/19: This past weekend I attend Explore Your Universe at UCLA. At this event we shared our cosmic ray detectors and shared are knowledge to the public. This was definitely a positive experience for me for a couple of reasons: first off being it was my first time presenting in a public space, next, it was a good place to network and make connections with people working on the same projects as us. A highlight of the event was talking to Dr. Whitehorn about our timing issue with our cr detectors. He let us know that he has been working on code to get the timing down to the millisecond.

10/27/19: Currently I am feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that needs to get done. To-Do for WISRD on Monday: get on the same page with Joe and people at NDA, update gantt chart, organize materials, add to the PDR milestone, add figure descriptions, find a time for WISRD members to meet outside of allotted class time.

10/22/19: I am working on writing the objective and I have received the results of the test from Ethan C. He has determined that the paddles must be horizontal to get optimize the cosmic ray count. I am working this newfound research into my objective: The objective of the payload is to measure the density of cosmic rays over the first 4,000ft and if the cosmic ray detector is robust enough to withstand the 12g during launch. During the launch, the Cosmic Watch detector will be able to measure if there is a flux in cosmic rays over the first 4,000 ft using a coincidence. Utilizing a coincidence will drastically improve accuracy in data collection. Using a coincidence will support WISRD in further experiments that include counting cosmic rays. Considering there will be two cosmic ray detectors (to make the coincidence) in the rocket’s payload, the element of design is crucial. Working within a 4in diameter to house equipment the components must be placed strategically. A question came up during the design process which was: does the orientation of the scintillator affect the count of the cosmic rays? A colleague ran this experiment and the design was based on the result that the cosmic ray count does depend on the orientation of the paddles. In the design the paddles will be horizontal to maximize the cosmic ray count. WISRD is predicting that the cosmic rays that will be counted during the rocket launch are galactic rays. Cosmic rays typically come from the sun and outside our solar system, but it is hard to distinguish the two. We will be at a low solar activity for 2019 and 2020 which concludes the point that we will be detecting a majority of galactic rays.

The component that still needs to be added is the hypothesis.

10/21/19: Today we met with the other half of our team from Notre Dame Academy. We had a very productive meeting, we shared notes, compiled a list of hazards and showed them what we have been working on. We are working hard to meet the deadline on Friday.

Meeting with team Athena

10/17/19: We are working on a strict deadline and now we are really getting into the project. Our team all have roles and different assignments to complete over the weekend. Mine is to write the objective for the payload. Today we also had a Q&A session with Zachery K. from NASA. Notes from the meeting our in google drive. On Monday we are taking group pictures for our PDR presentation. I have to get the test results from Ethan C. so we can send our sketches off to be turned into CAD drawings. Today was a busy, but productive day. Pictures from today’s meeting:


10/11/19: We are 3d printing our first piece, and today I worked on writing the payload. The task for next week: find out if we need to attach a micro sd card reader to the CR detector

10/9/19: Today there was a call with NASA about our contribution to the payload. Unfortunately, none of the members from our team were available to attend the call so we will have to get Joe to fill us in.

10/8/19: Our WISRD team is working on getting our name featured on the NASA website along with Notre Dame Academy. This is hopefully just a minor set back, but if it progresses into a bigger issue we may not be able to participate in the actual launch in Alabama. Currently, everybody is working on contributing to the Payload Criteria document. This includes the payload review, sketches, and objectives. We are also continuing to code the altimeter. We are having a colleague run an experiment to test if the direction the paddles of the CR detectors are facing and if the direction impacts the count. The outcome of this experiment will be included in our report we share with NASA. Here are pictures of the experiment that is set up to analyze the data collected by the paddles.

10/3/19: Today was a big day in WISRD! My team’s proposal was accepted which means we are moving forward with our NASA rocket launch. Today I made a Gantt chart to keep our team on task. I have been learning lots of new terms, concepts, and skills in the past month and will continue to grow my knowledge around cosmic rays and CR detectors over the course of this project. I am looking forward to all of our upcoming plans, which include having a conference call with people from NASA, test launches and going to Huntsville, AL. Below is a screenshot of our Gantt chart:

Gantt Chart

9/26/19: We are starting our white paper on the altimeter. As of right now, my job is to write about how to connect an altimeter to an Arduino. I am doing research on this and annotating the websites. Joe also showed us how to use a voltmeter (VOM) to identify common voltage on a breadboard. I also learned about Aligator clips.

9/24/19: Today was my first day soldering the CR detector. I was soldering a resistor onto the board. We have received an updated schedule for the payload project and have continued to make progress soldering our first CR detector. Bob showed us how to incorporate the use of a microscope to help us solder. Nnenna and Axil are learning how to code an altimeter.

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Nnenna B. Coding the altimeter

9/23/19: Today was a productive day in WISRD. We organized the rest of the parts and continued to soldier. Tobey and I also tried to log into the WISRD Instagram but we couldn’t because we were logged out of the WISRD email.

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Axil B. Soldering

9/19/19: Today in WISRD I went through all of the parts that we have received and organized them. Right now our team has two more parts that we need to find, the DC-DC booster and the OpAmp.

9/17/19: Over the past few weeks, I have been working on the 2019-2020 NASA student launch. I helped write a proposal, learned basic soldering techniques, ordered and cataloged parts and leaned basic number conversions.

9/13/19: I have been working on this graphic for the proposal. Here is the final copy:

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How the detector works

Here is a paragraph explaining it: When cosmic rays collide with the atmosphere, they split into secondary cosmic rays, such as pions and kaons, which are muon progenitors. These muons and electrons rain down to the surface of the earth where they can be detected by cosmic ray detectors. Once muons and electrons strike the cosmic ray detectors, the energy is absorbed and re-emitted as light by a plastic scintillator. The energy absorbed creates a small flash of light. WISRD’s Cosmic Watch silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) amplifies the light creating a pulse that can be sent to an Arduino Nano and be counted.