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STEM Solutions Conference this week in Washington DC. Lego and National Instruments promote "hands on" STEM Education

April 23-25 U.S. News STEM Solutions Program will feature an impressive roster of speakers - highly sought-after STEM all-stars from across technology, education, and government, with unique insights and great ideas- who are working to find optimal answers to tough challenges of education and industry. Lego has worked with National Instruments to bring more hands-on learning to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Combining National Instruments software that’s based on the same LabVIEW program used by engineers in industry, to Lego robots,enables students to hone their reasoning skills through creative problem-solving, rather than relying on memorization, textbooks and lectures.

“The goal is to get kids interested in engineering and after-school programs based on the same technology they’ll be using after they're out of school,” says Jennifer Dawkins, STEM program manager at National Instruments.

CARBON CAREER & TECHNICAL INSTITUTE - Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania - Case Study

CHALLENGE: Small, nontraditional learning spaces lacking the right tools for storage, organization, and efficient workflow
SOLUTION: Create a space-saving, well-organized environment for hands-on and classroom learning experiences that mirror real-world shop environments
BENEFITS: Enhanced classroom learning opportunities; significant cost savings from not having to replace lost tools; tools and parts are centralized, easily located, inventoried, and secure; and increased shop/student productivity
PRODUCTS USED: Workstations, Chairs, High-Density Storage Drawer Cabinets
Used in automotive shops around the world, Stanley Vidmar storage and workspace solutions are the perfect way for the educators of tomorrow’s automotive technicians and machinists to incorporate professional-grade products into the classroom experience. At Carbon Career & Technical Institute (CCTI), a dedicated team of instructors equips high school students with the skills and knowledge needed to enter the workforce or enroll in a post-secondary educational program. Using real-world examples to teach essential concepts, their staff applies advanced technology to career and technical tasks in areas including welding, precision machine technology, HVAC, and automotive repair.

Technology in Action

Technology Phobia

All of us suffer from some sort of phobia, be it high places, closed areas, water, etc., and for most of these there is a cure. The phobia affecting many people over the past 40 to 50 years is Technology Phobia, or the uncertainty of how technology would affect their lives and their work.
Let us be honest with ourselves; all of us suffer from technology phobia to some degree or another.

A Brighter Tomorrow

How often we wish for another chance

To make a fresh beginning,

A chance to blot our mistakes

And change failure into winning--

And it does not take a new year

To make a brand-new start,

It only takes the deep desire

To try with all our heart

To live a little better

And to always be forgiving

And to add a little laughter

To the world in which we're living--

So never give up in despair

And think that you are through,

For there's always a tomorrow

And a chance to start anew.


Ioannis Miaoulis- NCTL STEM

We Are the TE in STEM

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Article for Review

Communication Simulation, Understanding and Implementation

Visualization and model building are skills that technology instructors have been providing their students for some time. Using visualization and the ability to replicate a model are skills that can be enhanced when students are introduced to communication simulation and the process of developing simulated representations of reality. In this article, the authors explain how to develop and design a communication simulation using a physical security analysis of a computer laboratory as the theme of the activity. Communication simulation from the authors’ viewpoint is the use of technology and visualization to allow the student to communicate by using a model

Computer developed simulations are new teaching tools that faculty are starting to use in their classrooms. In this paper, the authors look at one type of simulation, communication, which can be implemented into the classroom using a physical security analysis from a technology/visualization perspective. However, to disseminate this article to a broader audience and to be consistent with the understanding of the terminology used throughout the narrative several terms will be defined using Wikipedia as the resource. As Clark Aldrich states (2009, p. xxxii), “The lack of common terms is a huge problem, and it has substantially hindered the development of the simulation space. Sponsors, developers, and students have not been able to communicate intelligently.”
Sill Hall 3D Image

Follow The Money

National Education Foundation Offers Matching STEM Grants

National Education Foundation (NEF), the national non-profit leader in STEM education as well as assisting schools to find Federal funds, will offer the mandated matching grant to enable any disadvantaged school district anywhere in the nation to receive  $1million to $50 million Federal funds for energy efficiency, renovation, technology, curriculum and teacher training. Any school district with at least 35% of students on free or reduced cost lunch is eligible to apply. Applications are available at www.qzab.org. Grants are awarded on a first-come first-served basis in most states.The little-known Federal Funding program has $700 million available.  NEF has set aside $70 million to provide the required 10% matching grant. NEF would also set up the mandated STEM+ (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, English, Social Studies, SAT/ACT, IT, Business) academy at no cost to the school district. 

Scott Brown


Case Western Reserve Engineering Students - Testing New Method for Remotely Controlling Research Grade Laboratory Equipment via the Internet

With the recent advancements in the internet and data acquisition systems, what would not have been possible to accomplish a few years ago, now is possible.

Recently, the Mechanical Engineering students at Case Western Reserve began using a new and innovative teaching method by operating a wind tunnel remotely via the internet. They operate a wind tunnel under the guidance of Professors Dr. Joseph Prahl and Dr. Paul Barnhart in their Mechanical Engineering Class at Case Western. The wind tunnel is located in Mentor, Ohio at the headquarters of Mech-Net Inc. The students are part of a Beta Testing program of MechNet’s new method for remotely controlling research grade laboratory equipment via the internet. They will operate the wind tunnel and receive a video of an airfoil in the test section just the same as the wind tunnel they have in their lab. This method of remotely controlling the equipment will allow College and even High School students access to expensive equipment on an hourly Basis to Conduct STEM math and science experiments hands on.

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The Art of the Future

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The Future of Ed Tech Markets

FIRST ALLIANCE represents a system of learning connecting experience, simulation, play, design, art, culture, philosophy, inventiveness, and experimentation. The Atlanta GENIUS and other FIRST ALLIANCE competitors are reflecting the future to us today.


The Future of Technology in Education

Predicting what future technology could do in the domain of education is certainly a difficult task. Mainly because the student community is looking at education from different angles, and technology itself is undergoing a massive change. One must realize that the future is clouded, and must be filtered through the ability of teachers — in the past and present — to think about the impact of technologies on student learning and capacity of the teaching community to undergird research in technology. We must remember that technologies are not the content of education; rather they provide a cornucopia of tools for learning.

The technologies we know will now undergo enormous change at an increasingly rapid pace. In 1965, founder of Intel Gordon Moore had predicted the exponential growth of technology. Moore’s law postulates that the processing power and speed of any electronic calculating device will double every 18 months. At the same time, the price for that technology will decline approximately 35 per cent a year relative to the power. If this continues to be true, researchers will have an abundance of exciting new tools to use as they study the curriculum and children of the future. Those instruments will not only be more powerful than those we have now, but will cost less, making them affordable for research, schools and families.

Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus

U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Rob Portman announced the formation of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus. The bipartisan Caucus, co-chaired by Kaine and Portman, will focus on improving and strengthening access to career and technical education to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.
“From growing up working in my Dad's small ironworking shop to creating Governor’s Career and Technical academies, career and technical education has always been a passion of mine,” said Kaine. “Through career and technical programs we can strengthen the links between the classroom and the workplace, helping students acquire the education and skills that will help them find employment and enjoy productive, successful lives after graduation. President Obama’s inclusion of workforce training as a priority in his State of the Union Address is a heartening sign for what we can accomplish this year. I am proud to launch the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus with Senator Portman and I look forward to working together to improve CTE.”

Career and Technical Education Month

February is National Career and Technical Education month, and there is much to be celebrated when examining the remarkable contributions that Delaware’s career and technical education students, teachers and alumni have made to communities throughout the state.

Investing in career and technical education can yield big returns for state economies. There is strong evidence, for example, that high school students involved in these programs are more engaged, perform better and graduate at higher rates. In addition, CTE programs at the postsecondary level have realized an increase in completion rates as they prepare students and adults for in-demand careers. There is no doubt that career and technical education also addresses the needs of high-growth industries and helps to close the skills gap.

State of the Union - Education Related Highlights

The following are some education-related highlights from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address. The excerpts are from a full text version of the president’s prepared remarks, as distributed by the Associated Press.

The First Four Paragraph's are Directed to Technical, Technology and STEM Education. 

1) I’ve asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America’s training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs.
2) We’re working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers that offer the real-world education and hands-on training that can lead directly to a job and career. We’re shaking up our system of higher education to give parents more information, and colleges more incentives to offer better value, so that no middle-class kid is priced out of a college education.

Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy

Four years after the end of the Great Recession, 23 million Americans remain unemployed, underemployed, or have left the workforce discouraged. Even worse, Washington policymakers seem out of ideas.

Where the Jobs Are: Entrepreneurship and the Soul of the American Economy shows how America can restore its great job-creation machine. Recent research has demonstrated that virtually all net new job creation in the United States over the past thirty years has come from businesses less than a year old—true "start-ups." Start-up businesses create an average of three million new jobs each year, while existing businesses of any size or age shed a net average of about one million jobs annually.
Unfortunately, the vital signs of America's job-creating entrepreneurial economy are flashing red alert. After remaining remarkably consistent for decades, the rate of new business formation has declined significant in recent years, and the number of new jobs created by new firms is also falling.

Motorsports Classroom Program, Pre-Engineering for STEM Education

MechNet Inc. has developed a very unique educational opportunity for STEM education. One of the programs main goals is to pique the interest of the student, by studying engineering, math and physics concepts on a real world platform. The program also helps students who may have previously had issues in Math and Science, by better relating concepts to topics that can be understood with a real world application. This program brings math and engineering to life. Students will be required to use math and science as a tool to solve a problem. All of the letters in the equation will relate to something real. The course uses the approach of, " for today’s lesson we want to solve for X, and this in the formula we are going to use," along with the data to come up with the answer. The program is based around the popular 1/10th scale remote control racing vehicle and uses sophisticated research quality testing equipment to conduct experiments. It will require the use of mathematical formulas and science principles

Crash Test

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F1 in Schools

F1 in Schools is a multi-disciplinary challenge in which teams of students aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature gas powered balsa wood F1 cars.

  • F1 in Schools is the only global multi-disciplinary STEM challenge for students aged 9 to 19.
  • It is a unique global platform for the promotion of Formula One and partners to a youth market.
  • Teams must raise sponsorship and manage budgets to fund  research, travel and accommodation.
  • The challenge inspires students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.
  • The founding constitution of F1 in Schools stipulates that it is, and shall remain, a not-for-profit organisation.  Funds raised through sponsorship are invested in administering, developing and expanding the challenge. All income is deployed in accordance with guidelines laid down by Formula One Management.

Build a better bag

Grade Level: 
High School
STEM, Pre-Engineering, Design
Design and Build a Better Bag
Developed by IEEE as part of TryEngineering http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=4
Lesson Focus
Demonstrate how product design differences can affect the success of a final product -- in this case a bag for holding candy. Students work in pairs to evaluate, design, and build a better candy bag.  
Lesson Synopsis 
The Design and Build a Better Candy Bag activity encourages students to work in pairs to design, build, and test a candy bag. Students will predict the volume and strength of their original design, sketch the design, create a model candy bag, and then test their bag using weight. After testing, students redesign their bag to improve it, and then retest. Student pairs make predictions, compare results, and discuss their findings.  

Time Needed
Two Class Periods
- Learn how design impacts product performance.
- Design a better candy bag using science, mathematics, and engineering concepts and applications.
- Build a better candy bag using science, mathematics and engineering design concepts and applications.
- Use the engineering design process to solve the problem.
- Employ the use of data collection and analysis to help solve the problem.
Lesson Activities 
Student teams will design a candy bag, and predict the volume and strength of their design. Students then build a model of their design, redesign it, build an improved bag, retest using weight, discuss findings, and share results.



The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is concerned with promoting hard work and supporting the skilled trades in a variety of areas. Primarily, we award scholarships to young men and women who have illustrated both an interest and an aptitude around mastering a specific trade. Qualified candidates include those students who want to advance their education through an accredited trade school or apprenticeship program, exhibit high work ethic and need financial assistance.
Most recently, the Foundation has created more than $1.6 million in education scholarships with schools around the country, including Midwest Technical Institute and Tulsa Welding School.