By Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) – Young people are bombarded with more information and distractions than ever before. But what if schools could use kids’ love of technology to teach them how to harness their brainpower?

A Somerville company is doing that at Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury, where the kids say it’s helped them learn how and when to focus.

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Boys in a robotics class at Catholic Memorial weren’t just playing games when WBZ visited, they were learning to train their brains using special headbands.

“We use this with F-1 drivers, we use this with Olympic athletes to help train them how to control their mind better,” said Max Newlon, President of BrainCo.

Catholic Memorial students wearing BrainCo headsets (WBZ-TV)

Sensors on the headbands, made by BrainCo, detect electrical brain signals and change the light from yellow, general awareness, to red when the brain is in a highly active state, showing students they can learn to concentrate.

“In kids with attention issues, actually those issues start to reduce,” Newlon said.

Students can get a better understanding by watching a graph and watching the color change during class that shows them how their brain focuses best. Thousands of people are using the headbands around the world.

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“I think it’s kind of a cool experiment to kind of see how to train my brain,” said CM freshman Kole Swift.

Catholic Memorial students wearing BrainCo headsets (WBZ-TV)

And teachers get a visual clue when they’re losing their students’ attention.

“For the boys to control their minds and get in to one of those two states when appropriate is incredibly good for a teenage boy to be able to self-control,” said teacher Patrick Murray.

In a way it’s data-driven teaching.

“It’s giving you something quantifiable that you can point to instead of a more qualitative ‘I think’ response for a teacher,” said CM Assistant Headmaster Brian Palm.

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Each headset is $399. The next use for the technology is helping to maneuver a prosthetic hands.

Paula Ebben