Thursday, January 12, 2017

MATE ROV: Marine Advanced Technology Education w/ Remotely Operated Vehicles

Because even adults can learn a thing or two! 
A Saturday workshop at the Barbey Center in Astoria. 
The Pufferfish Kit from MATE ROV 
We had some buoyancy/balance issues, but for building and constructing in under 90 minutes, we felt pretty good.  
I soldered the entire circuit board. I am very proud of myself!

If underwater marine robotics is of interest to your students or you, check out:
   I like MATE ROV for a couple of reasons: one, it seems less intense than Lego (and I do like FLL Lego Robotics)!  Second, it does not start at the beginning of the school season like FLL, but starts in December which makes the start to your school year a bit less intense. Third, registration is a bit cheaper if you are in the 3 least experienced tiers. You register your team for the tier you feel they are ready for: beginner, beginner/intermediate, advanced, and expert. Fourth, students on teams must vote their team mates into positions i.e., you have to work your way into that position with intention. Fifth, the kits for underwater robotics are cheaper and teams are encouraged to do as much as possible with what they have on hand and with renewable items. Finally, the future of underwater robotics off the Oregon coast and for development is huge and interesting to many and will create great opportunities for many students. 

 Teachers: you can now sign up your class for one of these Pufferfish workshops at the Columbia Maritime Museum in Astoria.  Homeschoolers, you too, can get a group of students together and take this class.

What is required of future marine electronics in the world of energy?

1. They must generate enough energy to have their cost justifiable.
2. They must withstand extreme ocean conditions for years and years.

   Did you know that the Pacific Continental Shelf has enough wave energy to supply 1/3rd of the United State's energy needs?

Science. Technology. Engineering. Math.

    "Applied curiosity; an insatiable desire to know and a drive to create." ~ Mark Lewis, STEM Director, Oregon Education Investment Board
What is scientific literacy?

   Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. It means that a person has the ability to describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. Scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed. A literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it. Scientific literacy also implies the capacity to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and to apply conclusions from such arguments appropriately. ~ National Academy of Sciences

   "We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That's just not true. You just have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live, up or down, to expectations." ~ Mae Jemison, first African American NASA astronaut

   The item above just returned from space and the student who designed and built it goes to Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon.

NASA Space Grant Symposium Take-Aways:
  1.  "It is statistically easier to become an astronaut than become a major league sports player." ~ Catherine Lanier, NASA, OSU
  2. You don't have to work for NASA to do NASA research. Students from all over the nation work on NASA projects at universities all over the nation.  
  3. Attending these kinds of events puts new vocabulary in their brains (and yours)! They, and you, may not understand it all, but it may create an interest that leads to a passion that leads to a future filled with intelligent and creative work. 
  4. The NASA leaders and professors that come to these events are passionate about what they do and are great at inspiration; they welcome younger students!
  5. Science is a bunch of "what-if's" right now. We are once more in a creative, scientific, and technological revolution. Everyone in the room is learning from everyone else. There are very few experts, and if they are experts, they seem pretty humble.
  6. Learning to navigate a very large college campus when you are 11 vs 18 can be a great confidence booster. The ability to navigate life with your God-given brain in a GPS world is mighty important. 
  7. NASA Space-Grant Symposium food is darn good, and they are happy to share it.
   "Success must include two things: the development of an individual to his utmost potential and a contribution of some kind to one's world." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Bravery, Bold and Cold

Let bravery be thy choice, but not bravado. ~ Menander

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Snapshots from the Land Before Time

Breathe, it's the new year. 
A cold, snowy, white wonderland,
 where the single dove comes to eat among the squawking stellars,
calmly finding her sustenance.
The lone deer nibbles her way through the forest, 
and the turkeys leave their footprints on the porch.
The racoon's paws pass by the chicken coop.
The snow gives up his stalking,
but the hens are secure, warm and tight in the hay.
Today, the chickadees ate last, but they are not forgotten.
The hens are happy to share.
And the boy eats stuffed olives with his oatmeal...
 and the box turtle soaks with his lichens by the wood stove. 
 You never know when elves and rabbits might appear, 
or angels too.
Or maybe some muscle,
right when you need it.
Have Courage in the new year.
Carve time for Life.
And maybe eat some Bibimbap too...
...lots of Bibimbap.
As Orthodox Christmas approaches, we cling.
We are still trying to be filled with carols and Christ.
We are not willing to let go of the lights and Light.
Soak up winter.
Connect with what is sacred.
 While, I can barely remember what I've read this fall,
and I've nary time for words, I'm listening and looking:
for the sacred and the silly and my Savior in the new year.