- Only 6.7% of women graduate with STEM degrees. Source
- .04% of teen girls plan to major in computer science. Source
Please share your STEM stats in the comments section.
Here is a “Thank-A-Coder” post to include STEM in everyday classroom instruction and observation.
Nigel de Grey was a British coder during World War I. Like many coders, Nigel de Grey worked to break the codes that the enemy used to plan attacks, coordinate arms shipments, and discuss battle strategy. Also, like many coders, Nigel de Grey worked in the obscurity of Bletchley Park, in the cramped office known as Room 40. One hundred years ago, in 1917, Nigel de Grey hacked the coded text of the Zimmermann telegram.
The Zimmermann telegram, sent from the German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German ambassador in Mexico. The telegram, written completely in code, urged Mexico to become a German ally and fight against the Allies in World War I. In return for becoming a German ally and attacking the United States, Arthur Zimmermann promised to cede the US states of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to Mexico, along with large some of money, as a prize after the war.
The codes used by the Germans were “exquisitely complex, so much so that the Germans assumed they could never be cracked.” Working at Bletchley Park, Nigel de Grey had to be hacked by hand since no computer existed (yet) to crack such complicated codes. The decoding of the Zimmermann telegram greatly influenced American President Woodrow Wilson to reverse America’s previously neutral status during World War I and enter the war, thus ensuring victory for the Allies.
Nigel de Grey’s brilliant code hacking helped him to be known as “the greatest hacker of the first World War.”
“It was a perfect spacecraft…Right to the end, it did everything we asked it to. It’s perfect, it’s perfect.” ” ~Julie Webster, spacecraft operations chief.
Presentation Sources: http://www.scoop.it/t/common-core-and-math-instruction
Would you get up at 2:00am to discuss math concepts? Students in Kenya did tonight! They slept at their school in order to participate in an online, global Fuze meet-up w/ high school math students from two schools in California. This project is under the supervision of Dr. Eric Hamilton of Pepperdine University.
All students’ insightful, engaging conversations and discussions of their STEM projects were illuminating for me. “Illuminating” is a word of hyperbole but it fits tonight after listening to these insightful students. Boundaries can be shattered from just these types of conversations!
Read more about this project at these links:
While we were celebrating the new year yesterday, Michael Minovitch celebrated his birthday.
I hope he had an out of this world birthday because he is the reason we know so much about the outer planets of the solar system. Dr. Minovitch proposed the solution to the “three body problem” that would propel the Voyager spacecrafts from one planet to the next using that planet’s gravitational power. Voyager 1 launched in September, 1977 and Voyager 2 launched in August, 1977. The Voyagers contain gold disks with “The Sounds of Earth” an idea from Carl Sagan. Click the link from “the Sounds of the Earth” to hear them.
Traveling at 50,000 miles an hour, over 10 miles a second. Voyager 1 is out in deep space is now over 11 billion miles from Earth and passed most of the power of Sun’s gravitational grasp (see the real-time distance measurement at this link.) Its twin, Voyager 2, has flown past all the outer giant planets, of Saturn, Uranus, and within 3,000 miles of Neptune in 1989.
The maths required for Voyager 2 to fly over Neptune required mathematical accuracy within one second and weather forecasting on a planet 3 billion miles away from Earth. Both Voyagers have flown farther than Pluto into interstellar space.
Now in a mission over 35 years, data from the Voyager transmiter, takes over 15 hours to arrive back to scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. And it all began with Dr. Michael Minovitch’s math of the “three body problem.”
RUNNING HEAD: Nanocrafter Game 1
Academic Game Review: Nanocrafter
EDLT 728: Game, Simulations, and Virtual World for Learning
Dr. Mark Chen
Research verifies the important role of exploratory play in the development of cognitive ability, creativity, and concept management (O’Rourke, et al, 2013). Nanocrafter is the newest game to leverage exploratory play, offered in Beta from the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington (CGS). Announced at the Games for Change conference in April, 2014, Nanocrafter offers progressing levels of skill building for players as they visualize and build nanoscale representations of synthetic protein bonds. Synthetic protein bonds do not exist naturally and must be combined by scientists through synthetic biology. Synthetic biology and DNA protein bonds can be the medical solution to real-world challenges, such as disease treatment and debilitating medical conditions.
Educators will notice how Nanocrafter leverages the cognitive precepts of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design (UbD), Strategic Design, and socio-affective attributes such as peer-review and collaborative groups. High-school students will find an engaging portal to strengthen STEM core competencies.
Keywords: games, simulations, protein bonds, synthetic biology
Finnish Innovation Fund (2014). Helsinki Design Lab. Retrieved from: www.helsinkidesignlab.org
Minoff, A. (2014). Can we game our way to better health? Science Friday podcast, April 24, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/04/25/2014/can-we-game-our-way-to-better-health.ht
O’Rourke, R., Butler, E., Liu, Y., Ballweber, C. and Popovi´c, Z. (2013). The Effects of Age on Player Behavior in Educational Games. Foundations of Digital Games. Center for Game Science Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington.
Retrieved from http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~eorourke/papers/age_behavior_fdg.pdf
The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington. Retrieved from http://centerforgamescience.org/
Wiggins, G., McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Pearson.
Just heard about this from my friend Dr. John Barell:
Dr. Sally Ride was the first women in space and an educator with continuing research in corporate inquiry mind sets and STEM. Following the explosion of Space Shuttle Columbia, she concluded her investigation with these ringing words: “Ever NASA manager needs to be inquisitive to a fault. You must ask and ask and ask.” In person
she told me that, yes, this challenge did indeed apply to all walks of life and that science was an excellent way of fostering our inquisitiveness by asking “Why?”
Continuing in the spirit of inquiry, the website SallyRideScience (https://sallyridescience.com) is a splendid resource for all those conducting investigations about the natural world.
Give yourself some time to search for Curiosity Rover on Mars, Climate Change and with Antarctic research. In the Antarctic research section, you’ll find the intriguing question, “How do penguins survive in very cold temperatures?” John wrote, “I thought I knew the answer, but learned more about the physics that I still don’t quite understand fully: http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/science/cold_penguins.htm”
SallyRideScience seems to be a safe, secure and child friendly. Conduct searches at STEM Central and Browse by
Category. John wrote, “Investigating the natural world is that area of inquiry where we’re always asking What? Why? How Come?” Take a look at SallyRideScience.
Thanks, Dr. John Barell!