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Talking Nerdy with Brain Games’ Cara Santa Maria

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When I was a kid I loved to explore and ask questions about the universe. While I never succeeded in the sciences, there was something alluring about the unknown. In 2011, National Geographic created Brain Games that would answer questions about the sciences through a series of games and puzzles. Unlike other shows and countless lectures Brain Games managed to keep a kid like me engaged and very entertained. There was something about the show that made learning fun; whether it was through optical illusions, memory tests or colorful exploding experiments.

In 2020, National Geographic decided to bring back this ageless show that challenges some of the world’s biggest celebrities to realize their special brain power through fun and highly entertaining interactive games, illusions and social experiments that will reveal the “why” behind the “wow.

This time the show is hosted Keegan Michael-Key and features Cara Santa Maria as field correspondent who described being on the show as “really entertaining in the most engaging way you can imagine.”

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Featuring an array of celebrities and an interactive live-studio audience, even when watched at home its hard to not find yourself screaming answers at the TV screen. And you find yourself learning more with each episode.

Despite Santa Maria’s extensive background in the neuroscience (she is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology) she found herself constantly learning new information while filming with everyday people for two months. “Brain Games helps you better understand who you are and Brain Games celebrates the uniqueness of the human experience.”

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While children are naturally curious, oftentimes we lose that interest as we get older as life becomes more complicated. This is the beauty about Brain Games, by tapping into the fun side of science, people of all ages can fall in love with science again (or for the first time) with this show. I found myself forgetting I was watching a show, and was just able to escape into the fun.

The Koalition spoke with Santa Marie about her experience on the show, the need for diversity in science, the roles celebrities play in our society, a dive deep into our own biases and what we can do right now to change our way of thinking.

Brain Games air Mondays on NatGeo.

Check out our interview below.

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