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Sense this!

Sensors are the fastest growing sector of the technology market. At a time when the economy is sluggish and the unemployment numbers stubbornly resistant, why is the sensor sector so remarkably robust? Sensors are continually finding new uses: in touch screens, in measuring vital signs, and more recently in printed electronics. So, an electrode in the handle of your bicycle can measure your heart rate. Or, why not wear a paper-thin bio-patch that can monitor heart rate, brainwaves, or the muscle response of your nervous system. Have a wireless connection? Then you can access the data on your smart phone, or send it directly to your physician. There are sensors that respond to touch, to light, to sound, to chemicals, and more. In the Philippines, which are home to just 1.3% of the world’s population, millions have been impacted by mudslides. Scientists are placing sensors on long poles that they embed in the ground. The sensors detect the settling of the soil preparatory to a slide, and so provide an early warning signal for the inhabitants to evacuate. Solving problems such as these requires thinking clearly about the nature of the problem, and having the freedom to try novel and interesting solutions. To have students focus on real-world problems like these, Village Glen has built an Innovation Lab, a space where students can gather to explore creative solutions to pressing problems. They learn to be unafraid of failure, and to view a succession of trials as just another step towards success. They learn to prototype solutions, to make them practicable, to make them workable. In this way, Village Glen guides its students to provide 21st century solutions to problems that affect your life, and mine.

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