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Author: ecrasnow

The Power of Purpose

Ten years ago, a story appeared in Wired magazine about four high school students in Arizona, all of them undocumented immigrants from Mexico, who built an underwater robot which beat a team from MIT in a national competition to take first place. (The original story is re-published here: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/4-mexican-immigrant-kids-cheap-robot-beat-mit/ ) That story has so captured the pu...
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The Hour of Code is upon us!

The week beginning December 8th is being celebrated as Computer Science week, with schools nation-wide being encouraged to spend at least an hour coding. Village Glen has joined the movement and on both the Sherman Oaks and the Culver City campuses will be among tens of thousands of schools promoting at least an hour of code in all of their classes. Why the emphasis? In 25 states, computer science...
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A Progress Report on STEM at Village Glen

Last week, Village Glen had a visitor, someone who had heard about our programs and about STEM at Village Glen in particular. He himself runs a school in England for students with special needs, so it was a rare opportunity to see how someone unconnected to and unfamiliar with our school would view us. His impressions were uniformly positive. He was amazed by middle school students milling about ...
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STEM, education, and a secure career

How do you get a job in the technology industry without a college degree? In the November 5th online issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, (http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-05/how-to-get-a-job-in-the-technology-industry-without-a-college-degree ) there is an interesting article which responds to just that question. This should allay some concerns that high-demand STEM careers are precluded ...
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STEM, Robotics, and 21st Century Skills

Why should you take a class in robotics in high school? After all, it’s not part of the typical curriculum; it doesn’t necessarily jibe with literature or art, or with biology or government. And yet the classes remain enormously popular. Why so? Robotics is the quintessential hands-on activity. It involves motors, motion, and electronics, aspects of electrical, mechanical and computer engineering ...
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STEM, Village Glen, and the deep future

On Tuesday, the explosion of an unmanned rocket loaded with supplies for the International Space Station was a blow not only to the company that launched it, but also to the 18 students whose experiments had been chosen to be part of the payload. The experiments were designed to answer important, and in some cases far-reaching, questions about the possibilities of life in a reduced gravity environ...
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Foundational Skills and STEM

In the 19th century, the foundation of a good education was grounded in reading, writing and arithmetic. In the 20th, the mandate was to provide a sound liberal-arts education. Though we only have early returns to go on, the voting for the 21st century seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of a STEM education. This is not to say, of course, that literacy and numeracy are defunct concepts with no pla...
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Data in a digital age

We are awash in a sea of data. When you accessed your smart phone to navigate from home, your location and destination were tracked by satellite. When you bought something online, or ran a search as part of your research, those data were recorded. That exponentially growing pile of data includes medical records, financial records, educational records, and criminal records, to name but a few. Consi...
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STEM, Autism, High School and beyond

A new survey in Utah of students with IEPs who left school in 2011 found that 19% were neither in school nor employed one year after graduating. The numbers for those on the autism spectrum are considerably higher: Paul Shattuck of Drexel University claims that 35% of those on the spectrum between 19 and 23 have never had a job or had post-secondary education. How do we defend against such numbers...
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The Advantage of Autism

Thorkil Sonne is not a household name. Nevertheless, he is a pioneer in changing the perception that the world has of those on the spectrum. Sonne, a Dane, was the technical director of a software company when he noticed that his son, who is on the spectrum, had a keen eye for detail, great persistence, and a phenomenal memory. What Sonne noticed is that his son had just the skills that his compan...
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