Episode 23: STEAM Labs at VAMPY

IMG_6542STEAM Labs (formerly Rube Goldbergineering) is the focus of our third and final pre-VAMPY podcast. From the class description: “People around the world now design and build Rube Goldberg®-style machines to satisfy society’s fascination with the creative contraptions. Apply the engineering design process to construct STEAM Machines™ (chain reaction machines that run on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math concepts) using everyday objects and technology such as motors, sensors, and micro-controllers. You will learn real-world engineering skills, gain experience with systems thinking and multi-team collaboration, and start exploring pathways to better understand careers in engineering.”

In this episode of the Innovation Update, Josh talks with STEAM Labs instructor Dr. Nielsen Pereira about what students can expect in his class and why the arts are a vital addition to STEM.


Aquabots Summer Camp Photos

Simpson County Schools hosted the Aquabots Summer Camp last week. Here’s how Community Education Director Robin Hollingsworth described the camp: “This camp provides a hands-on experience for middle school girls in 7th and 8th grades who are not exposed to the engineering designs, information technology tools, and science concepts related to engineering and technology careers. The goal of the camp is to increase awareness at the career opportunities in the local industries that utilize these skills. Aquabots will introduce the Waterbotics, an underwater curriculum and program disseminated through a National Science Foundation grant.”

Here is a slideshow of photos from the camp.

Click here to listen to a podcast with Robin about the Aquabots Summer Camp.

Episode 22: Problem Solving at VAMPY

Concrete Canoe
Image courtesy of the Engineering Department at WKU

In the second of three podcasts devoted to VAMPY courses sponsored by Innovate Kentucky, the focus shifts to problem solving in Problems You Have Never Solved Before. From the course description: “Have you ever had to build a boat out of concrete? Mail a potato chip? Find a way to clean polluted water? Drop an egg with only a few sheets of paper to safely catch it as it hits the ground? This class is designed to stretch your problem-solving and creative thinking skills. You will be required to solve unique, real-world related problems, and then communicate your processes and findings.”

In this episode of the Innovation Update, Josh talks with instructors Catherine Poteet and Amar Patel about the challenges students can expect in their class and how problem solving fits into the idea of innovation in Kentucky.


Introducing Connect the Dots: A New National STEM Education Initiative

“Connect the Dots” is a new multimedia, national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education initiative from Discovery Communications designed to provide pathways for kids to achieve today and lead tomorrow by inspiring interest in STEM subjects and careers within industries looking for highly skilled workers. By connecting kids, parents and schools with all of Discovery’s STEM programs across its networks, education and digital platforms, “Connect the Dots” will help make STEM a critical part of kids’ lives, prepare them for the jobs of the future and inspire the next great discovery.

This is big news! Find out more about Connect the Dots by clicking here.

Episode 21: Sustainability at VAMPY

7740433076_98b9a3d4b7_bIn the first of three podcasts devoted to VAMPY courses sponsored by Innovate Kentucky, Sustainability takes the spotlight. From the course description: “Sustainability is much more complex than simply adding the buzzword ‘green’ in front of our lifestyle choices. As the population of our planet tops seven billion people, we must consider the social, economic, and environmental implications of our everyday decisions and the effects they have at personal, local, and global levels. Explore how the interplay between patterns of human consumption, natural resource management, economic systems, and cultural norms are shaping our world.”

In this episode of the Innovation Update, Josh talks with instructors David Baxter and Jennifer Sheffield about demystifying the idea of sustainability and how it fits into the idea of innovation, as well as what they hope students take away from the class.


Creating Innovators: a lecture by Tony Wagner

THINK Global School and Traidhos Three Generation Community for Learning hosted a lecture event with Tony Wagner, the first Innovation Education Fellow at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard. Tony is a renowned educator focused on transforming education for the 21st century, and his most recent book – Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World – is a must-read for those interested in the future of education.

TEDx talks about STEM education

The Future Of STEM Education: Roni Ellington at TEDxBaltimore 2013

Professor Roni Ellington has served on the faculty at Morgan State University since 2006. Her work focuses on mathematics education. Research interests include understanding the experiences of high achieving mathematics students, STEM education, and teacher professional development.

STEM teachers sit down! Socrates is dead: Tom Dubick at TEDxCharlotteED

Tom Dubick teaches applied math and science to middle and high school students at Charlotte Latin School. He also sits on the LEGO Education Advisory Panel. In his talk, Tom describes about how effective STEM education programs are engaging, inquiry-based, and academically rigorous. He also points out the importance of the teacher serving as a facilitator instead of the “sage on the stage.” (Filmed and produced by Central Piedmont Community College Digital Media Services.)