MOD Capsule

MOD Capsules are low-cost, low-impact experiment kits that teach users about authentic research practices such as deductive reasoning, modeling and repeat measurements.

Example MOD Capsule

Here is an example of all components for a MOD Capsule prototype:

Clockwise from the top, this image shows 1) a cardboard gauntlet, which is built from the containing box that the kit comes in, with a Static Electric Detection circuit and enclosure on top, 2) sample materials (in green) such as polystyrene (white) and acetate (red) with an accompanying stand, 3) a booklet covering all the background knowledge anyone would need to use the gauntlet device and 4) a lab notebook which guides students through how to build, test and use the device, a place to take measurements, and a guide for reaching conclusions about their measurements.

Prototypes do not have to be a complete kit, only a complete experiment. There is no need to format, create illustrations or background material guides for the CO-TSA event.

Here’s an example of the cost breakdown for this prototype:

Participants in the CO-TSA event will have to implement research practices, such as repeat measurements, standardized measurements or modeling, in their projects. Here’s an example of standards (known) measurements and then test (unknown) measurements:

In this activity, users are using the static electric gauntlet to measure labeled materials (Negative, Neutral, Positive). They then assign the colors that the gauntlet displays to a particular value in their own description or terms (e.g., positive is blue). Next, users are instructed to measure each of the test materials multiple times, and note the most frequently occurring value. Through this activity, users use standards to determine unknown values and use repeated values to increase accuracy.

Making conclusions from your findings is the hardest and most rewarding part of conducting research. Deductive reasoning/conclusion walk-through example.

Examples of neuroscience phenomena

Variance in Touch Sensitivity – Our bodies have areas with really fine touch, like on our fingertips, and really course touch, like our backs. To explore the areas where we have high and low sensitivity, check out the 2-Point Discrimination experiment in the link above.

The McGurk Effect – How audio and visual information come together to create a perception!

Priming – A technique in which the introduction of one input influences how people respond to a subsequent input. Priming works by activating an association or representation in memory just before another stimulus or task is introduced.

Optical Illusions – How do they work and what do they explain about how our visual systems work? There are loads of examples of optical illusions (like this waterfall effect of motion) and how they happen in the link above.

One Sound, Many Perceptions – Do you remember the “yanny” vs “laurel” sound that went viral on Reddit? How do different people hear different words from the same sound? Learn more at the link above, and find more cool sound samples here!

Magic Water Experiment – Our bodies adapt to constant inputs, like if bath water is warm or cold. Our perceptions will change based on the constant input that we had felt before! [Video demo]

More experiments

Exploratorium experiments – check out experiments related to the senses!