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real-world tools

STEM in the real world

How do modern successful companies prepare for future workforce needs? How do they guarantee that there will be a steady pipeline of qualified candidates ready to fill the burgeoning demand for technically trained individuals? If you’re the Ford Motor Company, you start an initiative called Next Generation Learning to bring real-world problems into the classroom, problems that demand collaboration...
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The STEM-Autism Connection

Statistically, between 80% and 90% of those on the autism spectrum are unemployed. The social and financial costs of such a large number are huge. The work you do occupies almost a third of your life and is a large part of who you are. Those who are unemployed, particularly those who are chronically unemployed, don’t have an answer to the question, “What do you do?” That whole part of their lives ...
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How to improve upon perfection

Last weekend, Village Glen High School participated in the Regional championship for FIRST Robotics. Competition was tight. The 41 teams that participated were some of the best in Southern California, and some of them had already participated in other Regionals, as they are allowed to do, and won awards there. The level of engineering design and construction was high, rivalries new and old were in...
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The path to success

“Houston, we’ve had a problem here”. So rang out those chilling words on April 13th, 1970, when the world first learned that the Apollo 13 manned mission to the moon was in jeopardy. An oxygen tank had exploded, resulting in a loss of oxygen, battery power, and water, all this with the spacecraft and crew roughly 200,000 miles from the earth. One oxygen tank had completely emptied, and the second...
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Work and self-worth

Increasingly, we are what we do and say, what we make and communicate. We know Einstein by his physical theories, Walt Whitman by his poetry, Dali by his art just as Mark Zuckerberg is synonymous with FaceBook, Jeff Bezos with Amazon, and Steve Jobs with Apple. On average, we work a third of our lives, some very much more. Work provides us not only with our livelihood, but friendships too, sometim...
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STEM Spirit, Robotics and Village Glen

Last Saturday, on a cold, bright and early morning, a throng of students and adults descended on USC (University of Southern California) for a 7:30am viewing of the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition reveal. The hall was hushed as the animation played, some taking notes, some with laptops open viewing it in stereo. Immediately after the short video, the throng made a beeline for the distribution cent...
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