Member since: October 6, 2011
I have always loved technology and what it makes possible, so take every opportunity to share ideas and new technologies with my students and kids in workshops, volunteering my time because these kids will build the future in the years ahead!
I am an Author, Educator, InfoTech/InfoSec professional and Researcher in high-performance computing, STEM education (http://su.pr/18wXrl), uses of technology for persons with disabling conditions, cyber terrorism, alternative enegy systems (http://rkthb.co/7507), and sustainable technology. I have spent much of my life exploring the many amazing technologies that continue to emerge and now get the chance to pass my love of STEM topics and sustainable energy systems on to the next generation in turn by conducting workshops in the local area.
I am currently at Texas A&M University and the University of Maryland. For the last six years I have been working with young learners in the public schools and youth organizations like the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts of America, studying ways to encourage our youth to develop a strong interest in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
When the first #SciFund round began, I took part to develop new options for the teachers that have joined my efforts. Since that time, I have been documenting workshops and programs through the STEMulate Learning program's blog (http://STEMulate.org) and have expanded this program's reach to teachers from Texas, New York, Hawai'i and overseas (Australia and the UK most recently).
In #SciFund's first round, my supporters made possible a high-performance computing (supercomputer) grid node that has provided more than 15 years of combined CPU power to aid in the identification of new clean water and energy sources as well as medications to treat diseases and parasitic infections of global impact as part of the World Community Grid. The ongoing successes from this project are broadcast in weekly Tweets (@STEMulateOrg) so that students can see the ongoing results of this project and teachers are including this to support lessons in computer science, global needs, health, and the development of community awareness.
In round 2, supporters provided their gifts to allow open-water testing of an underwater solar and wave-energy power system that my workshop participants have used to study topics in alternative energy, sustainable living, and reef conservation. My second project in round 2 provided a fantastic tool for education - a 3D printer, which is a mechanism that can literally transform 3d designs within a computer into physical objects that can be handed around, touched and used in educating learners in many different subject areas. This has spawned the SOLID Learning (http://SOLIDLearning.org) inititive to fold 3d printed objects and tools into educational curricula.
I am currently conducting studies on the level of STEM interest in participating classes when students are allowed to choose the type of robot and colors of a robot's structure, compared to simply using components already created for their class. In both cases, high school and junior high students are learning about robotics and automation using open hardware designs they will then be able to adapt to other purposes after the class has concluded, hopefully encouraging lifelong interest into STEM subjects like bioprinting, additive manufacturing. robot design and computer programming.
Participation in #SciFund itself has provided an exceptional series of examples for students, illustrating the power of crowdfunding and citizen-scientists to open up new possibilities and to usher in a magnificent new age of learning and research they will conduct in their own lives long after they have left our classes. But this is the sole purpose of STEMulate Learning, as all designs and models are being shared openly so that teachers, parents and students can take what we have started and build whatever comes next. All of this, funded by the generosity of the crowd and the equipment they have provided to get things started - and in every case all expenses are documented to provide transparency so that our backers know what their generosity has provided (http://www.stemulate.org/2012/10/23/scifund-challenge-participation/).
My STEMulate Learning site for #SciFund Projects