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Design process

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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Education’s Modern Face

The face of education is changing rapidly to meet the demands of modern enterprise and industry. Just over the last few years alone, there have been new CCSS (Common Core State Standards), Next Gen (Next Generation Science Standards), and we have seen the rise of STEM and STEAM and their variants, some focusing on art, some on architecture, some on the design process in addition to science, techno...
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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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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 is, and what might be

The history of technology traces the arc of human progress, from its earliest beginnings in the stone tools primitive man made to survive, through the control of fire and the rise of agriculture, to the present. Presently, we live in a digital age, and the tools of progress now are broadband access, quantum computing, particle accelerators, and spacecraft design. Yet the quest for understanding, t...
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