29 games kids can play to try Engineering — from freetech4teachers.com by Richard Byrne

Excerpt:

Applications for Education
The games found on Try Engineering are appropriate for middle school and elementary school use. The games could be good activities for students to try after you have used one of the Try Engineering lesson plans addressing a game topic. Some of the lesson plans address concepts that are appropriate for high school students.

 

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11-year-old-inventor-May2013

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With thanks going out to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for bringing this to my attention.

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STEM cloud pilot could level technology playing field — from by Tanya Roscorla

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Because of differences in lower-income and higher-income schools in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, not every student has access to identical technology — and both government and education leaders are working to change that by partnering with the private sector on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and communication pilot in the cloud.

The county’s IT office and school system worked with the Maryland-based company Lockheed Martin to tackle this unequal access challenge creatively, something that the global security and aerospace company does for a living, said Vennard Wright, director of the Office of Information Technology and CIO for the county. This is the first step in the county’s quest to work with industry on different problems.

 

 

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Apple’s revolutionary move into robotic manufacturing — from seekingalpha.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Apple (AAPL) is about to become one of the world’s biggest buyers of industrial robots. The company has announced a 78% increase in its non-retail capital expenditure to $7.1bn. Analysts in Asia and America believe that the size of Apple’s robot purchases could tie up the market for several years, making it difficult for companies such as Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Nokia (NOK) and HTC (HTCXF.PK) to compete.

Up to 700,000 people are employed in China, making products like the iPhone and iPad for Apple. It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone and each iPad will, over the course of the 5 days that it takes to build it, pass through 325 pairs of hands. Although labor only represents about 3% of the cost of building these products for Apple, the wages of Chinese factory workers have been rising at about 15% a year for much of the last decade. Problems managing this workforce have also harmed Apple’s image in a region that has become the most important engine of its growth.

Apple’s move represents an important step in the use of robots in manufacturing. Robots have long been used to build cars, but not so widely used in consumer electronics because these products are more difficult to make.

From DSC:
Some questions that come to my mind:

  • What happens to jobs in this new environment?
  • What needs to happen to people in this new workplace/environment?
  • How do we educate and train students to enter this ever-changing workplace?
  • How can we make STEM-related subjects more approachable and less “weeder” like?

 

 

50 best iPad apps for STEM education — from onlineuniversities.com

Excerpt:

Despite early doubts, the iPad has proven to be an incredibly valuable tool for education, both in the classroom and in homes around America. By offering students, from elementary school all the way up to the university level, the chance to do some hands-on learning, exploring, and sometimes even educational gaming, the device makes education fun and exciting, something that isn’t always easy to do.

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http://k12videos.mit.edu/

 

About:

American school children need better educational opportunities and more compelling forms of exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—and to the people who work in these fields. Less than 5% of all university degrees awarded in the U.S. are in engineering (compared to 45% in China and 12% in Europe); only 0.8% of these degrees are being earned by women and 0.6% by underrepresented minorities. Further, 69% of U.S. public school students in 5th through 8th grade are taught mathematics by a teacher without a degree or certificate in mathematics: 93% are taught physical sciences by a teacher without a degree or certificate in the physical sciences. This crisis in STEM education is colliding with, and being compounded by, grim economic realities in most U.S. states. As a country, we are poised to expend fewer resources on one of our most pressing long-term educational and economic challenges. The National Academies have likened this crisis to a rapidly approaching, category-5 hurricane.

MIT has a unique relationship to these issues. We don’t have a STEM problem. As a world leader in engineering and science education and research we continue to attract a strong, diverse, and technically superb applicant pool. Half our undergraduate students choose to major in engineering; half are women; and a quarter are under-represented minorities. Moreover, because of our need-blind admissions policy, 19% of undergraduates in our most recent class come from families with incomes less than $50,000 per year, 37% come from families with incomes less than $100,000 per year, and 14% are the first generation of their family to attend college. However, our unique position also presents us with an opportunity to participate in the solution for the broader problem. These are challenges for our fields, our country, and our collective future. Finding solutions is not merely an opportunity of leadership—it is an obligation.

 

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50 best sources of free STEM education online — from onlineuniversities.com

From DSC:
A solid listing covering universities, lectures, tutorials, educational media, free courses, and reading materials.

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Art as Social Catalst -- Feb 10, 2012 event from techaccess.org -- Seattle WA

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DARPA to put 3-D printers in schools — from the Futurist Update November 2011

Excerpt:

The U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) plans to put 1,000 3-D printers (rapid fabrication devices) into high schools across the United States as a way to encourage American young people to go into engineering and particularly manufacturing.

The project is one of many investments that the agency will make over the next five years to help high schoolers build STEM skills.

Source: DARPA. Watch the NAE event here.

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Lenovo -- youtube space lab

 

From DSC:
My thanks for Mr. Steven Chevalia for this resource.

Excerpt:

Microsoft has developed an iterative MapReduce runtime for Windows Azure, code-named “Daytona.” Project Daytona is designed to support a wide class of data analytics and machine learning algorithms. It can scale out to hundreds of server cores for analysis of distributed data.

Project Daytona was developed as part of the eXtreme Computing Group’s Cloud Research Engagement Initiative, making its debut at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit. One of the most common requests we have received from the community of researchers in our program is for a data analysis and processing framework. Increasingly, researchers in a wide range of domains—such as healthcare, education, and environmental science—have large and growing data collections and they need simple tools to help them find signals in their data and uncover insights. We are making the Project Daytona MapReduce Runtime for Windows Azure download freely available, along with sample codes and instructional materials that researchers can use to set up their own large-scale, cloud data-analysis service on Windows Azure. In addition, we will continue to improve and enhance Project Daytona (periodically making new versions available) and support our community of users.

Also see:

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How making stuff makes science more appealing to kids -- 6-29-11

 

(My thanks to Mr. Joseph Bywerwalter for this resource)

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Multimedia Transformation -- Special Report from Education Week

Excerpt:

In science and math classes across the country, digital tools are being used to conduct experiments, analyze data, and run 3-D simulations to explain complex concepts. Language arts teachers are now pushing the definition of literacy to include the ability to express ideas through media. This report, “Multimedia Transformation,” examines the many ways multimedia tools are transforming teaching and learning as schools work to raise achievement and prepare students for careers that require increasingly sophisticated uses of technology.

[2008/09] Study: Hands-on projects may be best way to teach engineering and technology concepts — from Purdue University as reported by Kim Medaris

From DSC:
This study focused on 126 eighth graders from Indiana; it presents one perspective on teaching STEM-related topics.

ABSTRACT:
Exploring the Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Water Resources Engineering Module in an Eighth Grade Science Class

Jody L. Riskowski, Carrie Davis Todd, Bryan Wee,
Melissa Dark, Jon Harbor

Engineering education has historically been given little attention in U.S. K-12 classrooms even though engineering incorporates scientific and mathematical concepts into meaningful, everyday applications. Including engineering and design projects in K-12 science and mathematics classes may improve student interest and comprehension, while also reaching a broader range of students than traditional lecture-based classes.  For this study, the authors implemented an engineering design project focusing on water resources in 8th grade science classes. Students were exposed to either an engineering project (treatment) or a more traditional format (control) and their knowledge of water resource issues was evaluated using a pre-post assessment tool. Overall, students in the treatment classes showed statistically significant improvement in two areas – they displayed higher levels of thinking on open-ended questions and greater content knowledge. This research indicates the effectiveness of engineering in enhancing student learning and supports its inclusion in the middle school science curriculum.

Also, potentially relevant here is:

 

STEM Sell: Are math, science really more important than other subjects? — from voices.washingtonpost.com by Valerie Strauss

Also see:

From DSC:
Though STEM-related topics are important, I do not subscribe to what I’m seeing so much of these days — i.e. that STEM-related programs are funded, supported, and heavily marketed — and all you other programs out there…well…hit the road.

Maybe this is why 25-30% of students (nationwide) are dropping out of school…it’s not their passion; it doesn’t interest them.



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