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Robotics

STEM and SPED

It is now regarded as a truism that many of those with an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) who are at the upper end of the spectrum have specific talents and abilities that lend themselves particularly well to STEM pursuits. It is equally true that those with an ASD thrive when provided with supports that mitigate their weaknesses, and with an education that takes into account their specific learnin...
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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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Learning and experience

The path from Piaget to Papert to project-based learning is a direct one. It was the Swiss psychologist, Piaget, who argued that children don’t learn by being passive receptors of information from the environment, but by actively confronting it. His student, Papert, who went on to be a founding faculty member of the MIT Media lab, followed in Piaget’s footsteps, arguing too that children learn by ...
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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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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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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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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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The future of STEM

So, you don’t want to be a physicist or a computer analyst—is there still a STEM job for you? The question is important because over the next decade, occupations within STEM fields will grow almost twice as fast as non-STEM jobs. And the skills that workers will need even at the entry-level are far more sophisticated than they have ever been in the past. As the Alliance for Science & Technolog...
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Commencement Address 2014

We live in a scientific age, one where our culture is infused with the theories of science and its offspring, technology. In 2003, scientists mapped the human genome, the set of instructions necessary to build an entire human being. In 2008, NASA’s Phoenix lander touched down on Mars, and soon thereafter found ice on the red planet. And in 2009, an amputee learned to control a biomechanical hand c...
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What Village Glen does best!

Why would you send your son or daughter to Village Glen? Why this school rather than any other? Pierre Duhem, the French physicist, once remarked on the difference between the French mind and the English mind, that the French mind was narrow but deep, whereas the English mind was broad but shallow. At Village Glen, we seek to have the best of both—we want students who are broad and deep, students ...
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