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Design Hardware & Software

Inspiring Today’s Students to Become Tomorrow’s Innovators

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Rob Spiegel
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Technology for kids
Rob Spiegel   10/3/2013 10:55:59 AM
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I saw this on the ground at National Instruments Week in Austin in August. It was amazing to see what the kids were able to build in the robot competition. Great program.

Charles Murray
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Re: Technology for kids
Charles Murray   10/4/2013 10:31:26 AM
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In one of our recent stories, the author of this article (Ray Almgren), talked about the difficulty of teaching science and engineering to students. "Hard is fine," he said. "But we also want them to find their classes interesting." In FIRST and Lego Mindstorms, mentioned here, we see the embodiment of that spirit.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Technology for kids
Rob Spiegel   10/4/2013 5:47:52 PM
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Good point, Chuck. The toy-like products in FIRST and Mindstorms are kid magnets. I wish we'd see that with computer aided engineering. Kids love their video games. When are they going to discover that much of computer aided engineering is beginning to resemble video games.

Charles Murray
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Re: Technology for kids
Charles Murray   10/10/2013 3:05:20 PM
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A few years back, Rob, there was a childrens' product -- I believe it was called "Sim City." It was fun for kids because they could create their own cities in a CAD environment. I don't know what happened to that product, but I'm willing to bet it drew some kids toward engineering and architecture.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Technology for kids
Rob Spiegel   10/10/2013 6:59:03 PM
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Chuck, Sims is still around, bigger than ever. There's a ton of varieties, from fashion (very big) to roller coasters. For years it was the biggest software package for girls. My daughter spent tons of hours on Sims -- and scores of Dad's dollars. Nearly 200 million copies have been sold, making it the largest PC franchise in history.

jillbert
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Re: Technology for kids
jillbert   10/22/2013 7:09:58 PM
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it should be balance.. tech n edu

Greg M. Jung
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Re: Technology for kids
Greg M. Jung   12/5/2013 10:05:24 PM
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My kids loved Roller Coaster Tycoon.  It's a simulation game where you build rollercoasters on the computer.  The velocity and accelerations of these coasters were pretty accurate and helped to initially expose them to basic laws of physics.

Debera Harward
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Re: Technology for kids
Debera Harward   10/4/2013 10:52:06 AM
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I totally agree that the education system for engineers is not that practicle as it should be .In our universities students are just bombarded with notes , lectures, numericles and so on instead they should be given practicle and hands on experience on different projects. They should be asked to make different projects because while making these projects students face alot of difficulties and by trial and error method they study alot .Our engineers gets graduated from universities with very good GPAs but unfortunately they exactly dont know what they will be required to do in there professional lifes .

Debera Harward
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Re: Technology for kids
Debera Harward   10/4/2013 10:59:42 AM
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It should be the responsibility of universities to send their students for appropriate internships and industry related programmes so that they are aware what is the requirement of industries  for newly graduates. Seminars should be arranged by different Organisations for students for their career counclings.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Technology for kids
Rob Spiegel   10/4/2013 5:55:01 PM
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Debra, I think it depends on the discipline when it comes to whether students get an understanding of what they will be expected to do when they graduate. The medical field is great at job training. And while engineering may be less so, I still think engineering schools prepare students for jobs better than most other disciplines do.

Debera Harward
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Re: Technology for kids
Debera Harward   12/4/2013 8:10:10 AM
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Rob, it totally depends upon the discipline and this is not happening in all universities as well i was just discussing this generally that no doubt engineering universities provide very good hands on on different devices but their practical exposure is not as much as required . They gain practical exposure when they enter into their professional lives.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Technology for kids
Rob Spiegel   12/5/2013 11:21:36 AM
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Debera, I know in some professions, students do internships to gain professional experience. This is widespread in journalism (my university experience); is it also widespread in engineering?

Nancy Golden
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Diverse Realities In The Classroom
Nancy Golden   10/6/2013 4:30:48 PM
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"Creating an inspired classroom where lesson plans give students "aha" moments using techniques and tools the pros use to apply mathematical models to real-world data is critical to inspiring students. Educators need to provide students with interactive and fun lessons that are academically rigorous and deliver fundamental concepts that bring theory to life, and that's hard work."

It is hard work and with a lack of resources, the task becomes daunting. My son attended a charter school for junior high one semester. We found that the advertsing did not meet reality and his science teacher was not even supplied textbooks - she was actually using a book on oceanography that I had sent with my son one day as a "show and tell." When I offered to do a robotics club for her class, we actually held it during regular class time, to the delight of the teacher. My request to have copies made of some handouts I had created was met with trepidation - the school monitored how many copies the teacher would make and I wound up paying Office Depot to make copies so that I didn't use up all of my ink on my home printer. My husband and I purchased all of the stuff we needed and there was no budget available for the club. While the students were very eager and excited about the club, the lack of support from the school was discouraging.

On the other side of the spectrum, we visited a public junior high school where my son had entered a chess tournament and as we wandered the halls waiting for him to finish a match - we peered into a class room that had amazing contents - student built electronics projects where scattered throughout that included what looked like Arduino boards.

The need for both mentors AND resources is key and must have school support to truly be an effective program.

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