Tag Archives: STEM

Art, Music, Space – Visions of Harmony

I came across this video from Apple Music this morning. As it says, it is inspired by Nasa’s Juno Mission and merges music, art and space science. It is less than 9 minutes, but a nice video.

If you are interested in space, you will enjoy it. I am really glad to see that Apple has produced this video. I think it is another way to connect K-12 students with science and technology.

Mini Maker Events Across the Country Nov 5 & 6

Have you ver been to a Maker Faire? I have been to two held in Austin and found them to be fascinating. Maker Faires are usually held at large auditoriums, but this weekend (November 5 & 6, 2016) there will be a Mini Maker Faire held across the country at local Barnes & Nobles book stores.

This is the second year that Barnes & Nobles has hosted a Mini Maker Faire. If you have a Barnes & Nobles near you, you may want to make plans to stop by this weekend. As the name implies you will see things that people ‘make’ ranging from robotics to jewelry. This is a great opportunity to bring out kids to get them interested in STEM activities.

Ada Lovelace Day


Well, I missed it, but only by 24 hours. Yes, Tuesday, October 11, 2016 was Ada Lovelace Day.

Ada Lovelace, though she lived from 1815 to 1852, is often recognized as the first computer programmer. The second Tuesday in October has been recognized since 2009 as Ada Lovelace Day to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

We need to encourage all kids with interest in STEM careers, but particularly we need to encourage women. We missed it this year, but mark your calendars and plan an event for Tuesday October 10, 2017.

Trailer of “Hidden Figures”

Scheduled for a January 2017 release, the movie “Hidden Figures” stars  Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáetells. It is based on the true story of three Black women mathematicians and the role they played in the early days of NASA’s manned space missions. The book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly was just published this month.

This should be a good story to encourage the young women of today to pursue their interests in STEM careers.

YouTube Series Promotes Girls Being Makers

Simone Giertz is a 25-year-old star on YouTube.  This Swedish woman has already established herself as an inventor, maker and roboticist. The “Toy Hackers” series is aimed at young girls with the goal of teaching them how to make their own toys from common materials. The first episode is shown above. The episode tells a story with a link to Giertz DIY video.

There are 17 episodes planned in the series which will each last no longer than 7 minutes. The series began September 7, 2016, with a new episode to appear each Giertz partnered with the GoldieBlox toy company for the series. The company has a history of promoting STEM to girls.

This is a series that I plan to introduce one of my grand daughters to.

USA, Texas, Cedar Park – Texas Museum of Science and Technology


The Texas Museum of Science and Technology (TxMOST) is located in Cedar Park north of Austin. The museum, currently housed in 30,000 sq. ft. of leased space, has been open since March 20, 2015. The museum evolved from the Austin Planetarium organization. The new TxMOST targets to fill the long existing need of a science museum in Austin. Austin was the largest metropolitan area in the US without a multidisciplinary science museum.

Currently the museum has few static exhibits, but is hosting the Body Worlds & The Cycle of Life traveling exhibit. A full planetarium is planned to be added in the fall. The site has plenty of space to allow for future expansion. The museum is located at 1220 Toro
Grande Boulevard, Cedar Park, Tx 78613

This isn’t equivalent to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry . . . . yet. It is a first step that I hope many will support.

USA, Texas, Austin – The Thinkery


The Thinkery is a location in Austin that is designed to appeal to younger children (Elementary school age for the most part), presenting them with fun and innovative learning experiences. It is definitely a place where the kids can mix fun with STEM related experiences. I visited The Thinkery a short time ago with my 4th grade age granddaughter. The place was full of kids that were engaged with fun activities and learning a little science along the way.

The Thinkery is located at 1830 Simond Ave., Austin, TX 78723 in the old Mueller Airport development. It evolved from the older Austin Children’s Museum, which was founded in 1983. The Thinkery has been a part of the Mueller development since late 2013. There is plenty of free, covered parking nearby and there is even a nice park across the street so that kids can let off some steam with a little physical activity.

If you have younger children or grandchildren and are looking for a
place to escape the central Texas summer heat, The Thinkery is a
great place.

See my other Food and Location articles

App Review – MathStudio

MathStudio is an App that is available for both the Mac and iOS devices from Pomegranate Apps. The new MathStudio 6 is available from the Mac App store for $49.99, and $19.99 for the iOS version. However the older version 5 of both are currently available for free. For now my needs are satisfied with the free version.

What does MathStudio do? Here are some of the features of MathStudio from their web site:

  • CALCULATOR – From basic calculations to college calculus, MathStudio is a full featured scientific calculator with hundreds of different functions.
  • ALGEBRA & CALCULUS – MathStudio is powered by a lightning fast computer algebra system that beautifully typesets your answers. Solve limits, derivates, integrals and more!
  • GRAPHING – Plot 2D and 3D graphs of all types effortlessly! Combine the power of MathStudio’s computer algebra system to create plots never thought possible.
  • SCRIPTING – Create scripts in MathStudio’s powerful scripting language that features expressive and powerful syntax to do amazing things with just a few lines of code.
  • REGRESSION ANALYSIS – Plot lists of data with built-in regression analysis!
  • UNITS – From unit conversions to compound unit arithmetic, MathStudio 6 introduces complete support for units with intuitive syntax.

App Review - MathStudio2 App Review - MathStudio App Review - MathStudio1

This would have been a great App to have had back in the long ago days that I was studying Electrical Engineering. Not only can you solve problems, but you can visualize the answers. MathStudio is not as powerful as Mathematica or Maple, but it is considerable power to have available on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. If you do not have your iOS device of Mac close at hand, you can also use MathStudio on-line. MathStudio is also available for Android devices.

To glimpse the power of MathStudio go to the web site and view the video. This is a powerful App, but not one that the casual user will be able to quickly take advantage of. The App does have a few included tutorials, but time will be needed to master what the App can do for you.


  • Powerful equation solving
  • Great tool for students


  • Free version is not the latest version of the product
  • Not for the novice, this is no simple calculator

See my other iOS articles