It is Pi Day today and I wanted to remind all my readers about it. I can’t really say much more than I wrote last year, so I’m just going to repeat it here.
It is time to celebrate once again that incredible number Pi or 3.14159… I had a post that included some of the history in 2016. Take a few moments today and participate in the 30th annual celebration of Pi!
This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to STEM thru Pi. They learn a little history, learn some math and it can be capped with a nice slice of yummy pie. My first choice would be cherry.
As I suggested previously, try these methods of celebration.
One of the easiest and most fun is to simply eat pie!
Wear or display the Pi symbol
Plan your recognition event for 1:59 PM (i.e. 3.14159)
And, of course, mark your calendars for next year so you can plan something in advance.
NASA is offering a way to celebrate Pi Day this year with their “Pi in the Sky” challenge.
A short film which shows an idealistic look at the future of space travel, seen from the perspective of those who dare to venture into the unknown.
The film was made by Rob McLellan as a tribute to the science fiction films of his youth and to those real life pioneers that inspire it. This was a solo project of his completed in six weeks (in his spare time) and produced entirely in Unreal Engine 4.
I thought that this was a very enjoyable and well done animated film. It is a film that might be of use in stimulating kids to have an interest in STEM, especially space science.
It is the second Tuesday of October and that means that it is again Ada Lovelace Day. The day has been identified (per The Guardian) to:
. . . celebrate inspirational women in science, technology, maths and engineering, in the hope that by shining a light on such people and increasing their visibility, they can inspire future generations.
Ada Lovelace Day was founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, and part of her reason for doing this was a worry that women in tech were invisible. The idea was a positive one – rather than highlighting the problem, highlight the unseen women and shout from the rooftops about all the amazing things they’ve achieved. Ada Lovelace was an obvious choice of mascot for such an endeavour.
Take this opportunity and join in some activity to recognize the contributions of women in technology. This would also be a good time to introduce or encourage a girl you know in STEM careers.
CapMac – In Austin, our local Capital Macintosh User Group is having a special program this evening. The featured speaker will be Rhonda Childress, the only Female IBM Fellow in Austin, the CTO of Security Services, a Sr. Certified I/T Architect, and an IBM Master Inventor.
Documentary – While not available today, there will soon be a documentary series, the Chasing Grace Project, about women in Tech.
The Chasing Grace Project is a documentary series about women in tech. It includes six episodes, each focused on a different topic within the women in tech narrative. From the pay gap, online harassment and female entrepreneurship to access to the best jobs, the decision to leave or stay in tech and the role of male allies, the series illustrate how we pave the way forward. Through story we can call out the adversities women face and illustrate how they’re navigating their own paths. The result? A series of blueprints for other women to find their paths, their way.
This may be something you will want to stay aware of
The Maker Faire is happening again in Austin this weekend (May 13-14) at the Palmer Event Center. I attended the first two held in Austin, but have missed the past 6 events. I do hope to drop in this weekend.
The article “Austin Is on a Mission to Keep Maker Faire Weird” gives you a little insight to what you might see there. If you have the free time, these are great events to visit. Kids who are interested in STEM careers or just tinkering will find the event fascinating. Likewise, us older ‘kids’ who like to create new gadgets or inventions will find the event equally interesting.
Predictions are that Robots, Automation and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasing role in our lives.
This week is National Robotics Week. This has been an annual recognition since 2010. Events are going on all over the country this week, most aimed at K-12 STEM. The list can be found here.
It is time to celebrate once again that incredible number Pi or 3.14159… I had a post that included some of the history last year. Take a few moments today and participate in the 29th annual celebration of Pi!
This is a great opportunity to introduce kids to Pi. They learn a little history, learn some math and it can be capped with a nice slice of yummy pie.
As I suggested last year, try these methods of celebration.
- One of the easiest and most fun is to simply eat pie!
- Wear or display the Pi symbol
- Plan your recognition event for 1:59 PM (i.e. 3.14159)
And of course mark your calendars for next year so you can plan something in advance.
EWeek – With this being the first day of Engineers Week 2017 I thought that these videos and YouTube channels might be of interest.
- Grant Thompson’s YouTube channel “The King of Random” includes videos with a range of experiments and DIY projects. Some recent titles are : “Making Homemade Missiles That Explode“, “Is It a Good Idea to Make Party Poppers With Hydrogen?” and “Making Glass Vacuum Chambers Implode“.
- Bill Hammack’s YouTube channel “engineerguy” where the University of Illinois Chemical Engineering professor gives “the engineering details of all the stuff you wanna know about“. From his web site: Make called Bill a “brilliant science-and-technology documentarian”, whose “videos should be held up as models of how to present complex technical information visually” Wired called them “dazzling.” Scientific American’s blog called him a “smart, easygoing everyman with a firm understanding of the science.”
- Jason Fenske’s YouTube channel “Engineering Explained” has a more narrow focus on the subject of “How Cars Work”.
- The YouTube channel “Cody’s Lab” includes various experiments and adventures, most science or engineering related.
- NASA’s “NASA Goddard” YouTube Channel features views of various NASA technology. Expect to see the latest in NASA’s research into planetary science, astrophysics, Earth observing, and solar science on the channel.
- The YouTube channel “SciShow Space“, as the name implies, focuses on space exploration. The hosts, Hank Green, Caitlin Hofmeister, and Reid Reimers, cover topics ranging from what happened after the ‘Big Bang’ to the latest space related news.
- The “Numberphile” YouTube channel from the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) covers a variety of mathematic topics.
Some of these may be good to share with K-12 students interested in STEM careers.
I recently came across the article “Going Rogue: The Science Behind the Star Wars Death Star“.
We all enjoy the “science” in Science Fiction, but how possible is it? Most would think that the Death Star was beyond the realm of possibility. This article explores what the energy requirements would be (massive to say the least) for this weapon and how it might be generated. It isn’t impossible, but it is mighty difficult.
The article also points out the little detail of Newton’s Laws of Motion ignored in the movies. Firing a laser (or particle beam) in one direction will create a force in the opposite direction on the object that fired the laser. Because of the immense power needed to destroy a planet (2.24 x 10^32 Joules estimated in the article for a planet similar in size to Earth) the Death Star would be propelled at high speed in the opposite direction.
Of course I guess if they can generate artificial gravity on the Death Star, then they might be able to use other technology to circumvent known physics.
This kind of a discussion, and the associated calculations, might be a great way to involve a Middle School or High School science class.
I saw this a few days ago and wanted to share it.
I think that this is a great video to share with younger kids when trying to talk with them about STEM.