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analysis

Living in a Digital Age

We live in an age of driverless cars, thought-controlled biomechanical limbs, and robots shifting heavy pallets of goods across warehouse floors. These were all dreams of yesterday, and each was supposed to take decades to be realized, if it could be realized at all. But here they are. Google’s driverless cars routinely glide along the 101, nimbly slowing to evade the sometimes erratic driving of ...
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The path to excellence

On August 25th 2015, STEM3 Academy will open its doors to students with social and learning differences, grades 9 through 12, in time for the 2015/16 academic year. The first of its kind in the country, STEM3 Academy is unique in providing a rich and varied curriculum designed to develop the natural skills and abilities of its students, to provide real-world experiences by way of hands-on projects...
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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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Giftedness and learning

At this weekend’s California Association for the Gifted Conference there was intense focus on the elements of depth and complexity. Students are guided towards a series of visual prompts to help them penetrate beneath the surface understanding of a concept and develop a richer understanding by thinking critically about it. Is there, for example, special vocabulary to learn? Are there terms that th...
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STEM across disciplines

Humankind is beset with problems of its own making: runoff of chemicals from industrial agriculture risks polluting the water table; human overpopulation taxes the environment to produce sufficient food, to supply enough potable water, and results in massive production of waste; and the energy industries (coal, oil and nuclear) have had a significant environmental impact on air, land and water. Th...
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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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Putting STEM to work

“When people think of an industrial factory, they think dark, dirty and heavy lifting and it’s not that way anymore…People don’t understand that…it’s meant for somebody with higher analytical skills and higher troubleshooting abilities [as well as for somebody] who can turn a wrench.” http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/12/apprenticeships-could-provide-a-pathway-to-the-middle-class?int=a4...
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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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