Welcome to braininterface.org.  

My name is Nick Johnston and this website contains my science fair projects from grades 9- 11.

The links on the main menu to the left contain the details of each project, as well as downloadable versions of the papers I produced for these competitions.


I was fortunate to be asked to give a speech at the Innovation Exploration meeting of the BC Innovation Council on October 26, 2012 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Speaking on behalf of all of the science fair students of British Columbia, I addressed the Innovation Council members, government dignitaries, professional engineers, teachers, science fair volunteers and my fellow students highlighting the importance of science fairs for those students who are future scientists and engineers.  It was also a perfect opportunity to express the appreciation of the science fair students of BC to the teachers, organizers, judges and others who volunteer their time to help in our growth both personally and in science.  A full text of my speech is here.

I started participating in science fairs in grade 9.  My first idea after seeing the movie "Avatar" was to use plant roots to transmit data. I wanted to see if the "Tree of Souls" was really possible.  It made sense that if you could do that, you could have a world-wide biological neural net.  It worked, but the distance the data traveled was short, and I began to think about human neural nets and use of computers to interface with intelligent systems.

This led to my interest in Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs).  I first discovered an Open Source Kit project for EEG while completing my plant roots project.  My first original thoughts in the area of BCI involved the reading of frequencies over 60Hz.  Unfortunately, the first system I built used very poor noise filtering which is required for these higher frequencies. My second EEG build involved a much lower noise chip which became available in late 2009.  I believe the two outstanding issues in making EEG based BCIs function in a realistic environment are noise control and the ability to interpret very low power signals from the brain through the naturally thick skull.

The projects presented here were submitted as Science Fair projects at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair 2010- 2012.

Transferring Data Over Plan Roots won a Gold Medal at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair in Surrey BC, Canada and a bronze medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Peterborough Ontario in 2010.


 Computer-Aided Telepathic Communications won a Gold Medal at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair in 2011.


I applied to Team Canada IISEF 2010 and was invited to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles in 2011.  A link to the IISEF Team Canada promotional video on YouTube is here:


Unspoken Speech Detection Using a Brain Computer Interface won a Gold Medal at the South Fraser Regional Science Fair and a bronze medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Charlottetown, PEI in 2012.


What's next?  Well, there's a new analogue to digital chip specifically designed for EEG from Texas Instruments called the TI ADS 1299 that I can't wait to put in my next project....

I would like to thank all of the people who have helped me along the way, but in particular Ms. Karen Morley of the BC Science Fair Foundation and Ms. Lynn Porpaczy, IB and Gifted Coordinator at Semiahmoo Secondary School for mentoring me.