News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

GREEN

Breaking the Electrode Barrier: New Low-Cost Organic Solar Cells

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014

Now that global climate changed has been scientifically proven to be a present and future problem, researchers and companies alike are working all over all the world to come up...

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INNOVATE

2015 OC Mini Maker Faire Announced at Film Screening of “Maker” at OCMA

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015

Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) recently offered a special screening of “Maker,” a feature-length documentary on the Maker Movement and its impact on society, culture and...

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TECHNOLOGY

Bell High School Students Learning Arduino at STEM Lab School

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015

It was an amazing and inspiring experience to attend STEM Lab School on a Saturday at Bell High School and meet the mentors and community partners that made this event happen for...

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SCIENCE

NASA Hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ Event at the Agency’s 10 Field Centers

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015

NASA hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ event inviting press to one of the agency’s 10 field centers. Guests invited were able to go behind the scenes at the respective NASA center and...

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Recent Posts

Bell High School Students Learning Arduino at STEM Lab School

Bell High School Students Learning Arduino at STEM Lab School

Mar 26, 2015

It was an amazing and inspiring experience to attend STEM Lab School on a Saturday at Bell High School and meet the mentors and community partners that made this event happen for students at the school. The class was held in the cafeteria where there was a lot of space for mentors to interact and teach students the fundamentals of Arduino to have them start working on their project that’s part of the STEM program. QGITS met and spoke with the STEM mentors running the program for Bell High School that day which was Laura Avendano, Lab School Adminstrator & Teacher Support Coordinator of STEM Institute for Innovation & Improvement at Cal State University Dominguez Hills; Geoffrey Payton, Robotics Lab School Lead Teacher; Michael Lusk of LAUSD Physics & Chemistry Teacher at Washington Prep High School and Tim Laren of Hacker Development Arduino & More.

QGITS: Tell us about the STEM program at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Laura Avendano: We assist with teacher preparation programs for Science, Math, English and Special Ed Teachers. We provide a training ground for our teachers while serving the community by hosting STEM Lab Schools where students are immersed in STEM activities. Students work on project based learning, robotics, computing curriculum and it’s facilitated by expert teachers who serve as mentors for our new teachers.

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Photo (left): Laura Avendano, Geoffrey Payton, Michael Lusk and Tim Laren.

QGITS: What’s unique about the program?

Laura Avendano:  We service the students in a holistic experience while concentrating on a theme and address it in Science, Math and English. Here at Bell High School the students are working with the Arduino boards. They are working on developing a robot that will be able to respond in an emergency as a first responder of some sort. In their English class, they develop a Marketing plan as well as gather information on different disasters and the different types of responses that are necessary after the disaster occurs. In Math, they tie in more of the theory behind the coding, they get to experience the pieces come together while working on their robots and they understand that every subject is important and you can apply each subject to whatever you are doing whether it’s robotics or if you decide to go into the field as an engineer perhaps.

IMG_0250Photo: High school students working on Arduino at STEM Lab School.

After the STEM Lab School program wrapped up for the students, QGITS also chatted with Tim Laren of Hacker Development Arduino & More.

QGITS: How awesome to see the high school students working on an ongoing Arduino project.

Tim Laren: It started with Mr. Lusk at Washington Prep High School and recently they wanted to bring his class from Washington Prep into LAUSD as a standard program. Mr. Lusk asked me to get involved. So the two of us designed the curriculum and then designed the kits using Arduino, for the student robot building project. Then he asked me to come down to Cal State University Dominguez Hills STEM program with all the mentors so they can see the kits and discuss how it was going to work. Stem Lab School lets students figure out how to build, create and engineer things. The students are able see things they didn’t think they could do or knew they existed. A program like this can show them that they can do it.

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Photo: STEM Lab School at Bell High School.

To learn more about the STEM program at CSUDH, check out: www4.csudh.edu/csi3/

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2015 OC Mini Maker Faire Announced at Film Screening of “Maker” at OCMA

2015 OC Mini Maker Faire Announced at Film Screening of “Maker” at OCMA

Mar 1, 2015

Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) recently offered a special screening of “Maker,” a feature-length documentary on the Maker Movement and its impact on society, culture and economy in the U.S. From the producers of the internationally acclaimed “Design & Thinking,” “Maker” looks into a new wave of Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together culture fueled by passion and powered by the advent of new technologies. The film explores the ideas, tools, and personalities that are driving the Maker Movement – and returns with a timely snapshot of one of the transforming influences of the current age.

Movie Maker

After the film screening there was a Q&A panel moderated by Leslie Feibleman Director of Special Programs & Community for the Newport Beach Film Festival talking with local makers discussing the importance of community, creativity, making, networking, maker & hacker spaces, entrepreneurship and how anyone can be a part of the maker movement. On the panel was Bequi Howarth, Co-organizer and Core Team Member of OC Mini Maker Faire (OCMMF), Founder/CEO Steve Trindade of Urban Workshop, Ravin Kumar, Manager of 23b Shop, Kameron Campbell & Michele Lujan founders of Open House Creative, and Lindsey Zindroski, General Manager of OC Makerspace. Next upcoming event by OCMA mentioned on panel is March 22nd “Meet the Makers” a self guided tour of local maker studios of unique behind the scenes interactions.

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Also a special announcement made by Bequi of the OC Mini Maker Faire at the “Maker” film screening event. “The OC Mini Maker Faire is excited to say we are official now. Our call for makers is open for tinkerers, inventors, hackers and do-it-yourselfers for the 3rd annual 2015 OC Mini Maker Faire event, May 9th located this year at Irvine Valley College. The OCMMF is an opportunity to make, create, a place to be hands on interactive, learn, invent, craft, build, think, play and be inspired.” – Bequi Howarth, Co-organizer/Core Team Member of OCMMF

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Photo by Leslie Feibleman of NBFF: Some core team members of OC Mini Maker Faire at OCMA screening of “Makers.” (From Right) Bequi and James Howarth, Anil Pattni, Arman Bastani, Chris Reyes, Amanda Garcia and Candice Nunez.

About the Maker Faire & Mini Maker Faires: Mini Maker Faires are independently produced celebrations of local maker culture. The first Maker Faire started in 2006 in San Mateo, California, organized by the editors of MAKE magazine. Maker Faire creates opportunities for conversations with Makers. Tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and entrepreneurs all come together to show their projects and to talk about what they have learned. It is a community-based learning event that inspires everyone to become a maker, and connect with people and projects in their local community. www.makerfaire.com

Apply and showcase your work at OC Mini Maker Faire: www.ocminimakerfaire.wordpress.com

To read more about the movie “Maker” and how you can watch or purchase the movie go to www.makerthemovie.com

For more information about Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) and upcoming events visit: www.ocma.net

NASA Hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ Event at the Agency’s 10 Field Centers

NASA Hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ Event at the Agency’s 10 Field Centers

Feb 10, 2015

NASA hosts 1st ‘State of NASA’ event inviting press to one of the agency’s 10 field centers. Guests invited were able to go behind the scenes at the respective NASA center and experience the diverse work of the agency through tours and presentations with scientists, engineers and managers. The event highlighted the work of the agency’s journey to Mars, testing of cutting-edge technologies, making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency makes progress on the next generation of air travel. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at Kennedy Space Center addressed the progress made and the exciting work ahead on the agency’s exploration initiative that secures America’s leadership in space.

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Image Credit: NASA

QGITS had the opportunity to attend the 1st ‘State of NASA’ event that was held at Armstrong Flight Research Center which is the primary center for atmospheric flight research and operations in Palmdale, Ca.

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The day begins with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden delivering a speech from NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida reaching us at Armstrong and all other NASA locations via TV Broadcast. Bolden announced details of the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2016 agency budget proposal recently submitted to Congress. He emphasized that the recommended increase of about a half-billion dollars over last year’s enacted budget would provide the necessary resources to continue advancing America’s bipartisan space exploration plans. The ongoing programs will ensure that the United States remains the world’s leader in space exploration and discoveries benefiting all humankind. Watch full video of state of the agency address by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden:

Zazzi Wearable Smart Jewelry by FashionTEQ CEO Judy Tomlinson at CES 2015

Zazzi Wearable Smart Jewelry by FashionTEQ CEO Judy Tomlinson at CES 2015

Feb 3, 2015

At the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas FashionTEQ a fashion company that designs women’s wearables to integrate technology into women’s lives exhibited at the Wearables Marketplace presented by Living in Digital Times at the Venetian Sands convention center. Entrepreneur & CEO Judy Tomlinson of FashionTeq was showcasing and presenting latest features with Zazzi smart jewelry that’s been developed for women so they can accessorize their technology, making it functional and stylish. Watch video from the CES conference with Matt Terndrup tech journalist and CEO Judy Tomlinson of FashionTEQ.

Control how your image changes with notifications through your Zazzi-app. Choose Images your wish to wear – On your ring, bracelet or pendant your can assign images you wish to wear at any time. – Zazzi

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http://www.fashionteq.com/

3D Systems Showcase New Innovative Products & Solutions at CES 2015

3D Systems Showcase New Innovative Products & Solutions at CES 2015

Jan 29, 2015

This year at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas 3D Systems brought in a gamut of new technologies. They showcased its entire consumer and prosumer 3D printing capabilities from new hardware and software developments in desktop full-color 3D printing, 3D printing food, wearables, software for design and virtual reality-related devices. We interviewed key team members involved at 3D Systems: Leanne Gluck, Director of Social Impact; Liz Von Hasseln, Creative Director of Food Products and Josh St. John, Director of User Experience – to see what they were working on at CES.

Ekocycle – The 3D Printer that uses Recycled Plastic

This innovative 3D printer from 3D Systems came together through a partnership with pop music mogul icon will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Company. As the Ekocycle websites states, this printer was created “to inspire new things made in part from recycled materials. Our shared ambition is to motivate brands and people like you to join us on our quest to make more sustainable living cool.”

Dietary Saturated Fat Not as Harmful as Once Thought

Dietary Saturated Fat Not as Harmful as Once Thought

Jan 28, 2015

High levels of saturated fat in the blood have been implicated in heart disease. As a result, saturated fat in the diet  is generally regarded as bad for your health. A new study may change the way we perceive saturated fat in the diet. A study was conducted on individuals with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by having three of the following: a large waist circumference, high blood pressure, high blood sugar or high triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of lipid that accumulate in the blood stream and high levels are associated with poor health.

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During the study, participants were  fed a slightly calorie deficient diet (about 300 calories). Every three weeks the composition of fat and carbohydrates was changed. This study design is unique in that it investigates different diets within the same individuals, rather than across a population. The researchers found that despite some diets having significantly more saturated fat than others, there was no change in serum levels of saturated fat in the blood. This is important because it means that our dietary intake of saturated fat does not effect how much saturated fat is in our bodies—meaning diets with low saturated fat are unnecessary.

Even more interesting, they found that the higher carbohydrate diets increased the levels of a fatty acid called palmitoleic acid. According to the authors, high levels of palmitoleic acid are associated with heart disease, hyperglycemia and cancer. These findings bring to light questions about the daily recommended diet, such as whether or not we should be encouraging  low levels of saturated fat and relatively high carbohydrate intake.

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Randa Milliron: Launching Inspiration and Innovation Through Rocket Science

Randa Milliron: Launching Inspiration and Innovation Through Rocket Science

Jan 23, 2015

It’s not every day you stumble across a rocket lady, especially one that has a background in television, academia, and electronic music.

Randa Milliron, Chief Executive Officer of Interorbital Systems, is exactly that and so much more.  Lucky for us at QGITS and some very special STEM students at Cypress College here in Southern California, we got to hear this woman’s inspirational story as well as get some inside information about her innovative company, Interorbital, which engineers rockets and currently is part of an ambitious team working towards Google Lunar’s X Prize , of which Milliron was a founding member.

To read Randa Milliron’s full bio, click here.

Here is the video of Randa Milliron inspiring STEM students at Cypress College, shot by our very own QGITS founder, Ms. Candice Nunez:

Mind Control Car Racing Game by Emotiv Insight at CES 2015

Mind Control Car Racing Game by Emotiv Insight at CES 2015

Jan 14, 2015

At the CES Conference last week, Emotiv Insight brainwear exhibited with IEEE an organization dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity at the conference in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s theme at the IEEE exhibit is “Thinking Forward” sparking the future of thinking-forward technologies. “Thinking” was the suitable word for the mind controlled car racing game that was demonstrated by Emotiv a bioinformatics company advancing the understanding of the human brain using electroencephalography (EEG). The revolutionary groundbreaking technology by Emotiv showcased their latest product called Insight that is launching April 2015 starting at $299. Consumers at CES were able to try out the headset while using there own brainpower to participate in a car race propelling their car forward with their thoughts. QGITS met and spoke with CEO Geoff Mackellar of Emotiv at CES during the Showstoppers press preview event at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas.

QGITS: What is Emotiv?

Geoff Mackellar: The Emotiv headsets are based on electroencephalography which is basically picking up small electrical signals on the outside of the skull that originate from large number of neurons inside of the skull all firing in sync. The sort of signal that we see inside of the skull are a few volts but when all the neurons start firing together and by putting some electrodes on the outside of the skull on the skin, that can detect micro volts floating on the surface of the head. We made Emotiv Insight consumer friendly that is sleek so that you can move around and act like it’s not there compared to a typical medical EEG system that involves a lot of wires on the head, gel and a couple of hours to set up. We created the next generation of brainwear that reads your brainwaves that can track and monitor your brain activity. It allows you to optimize your brain fitness & performance, measure and monitor your own or your family’s cognitive health & wellbeing connected to a mobile app that translates those signals.

Emotiv

Hydrogen Future by Dr. Michio Kaku at Toyota’s Press Conference at CES 2015

Hydrogen Future by Dr. Michio Kaku at Toyota’s Press Conference at CES 2015

Jan 7, 2015

Announced this week at the 2015 International CES, Toyota is opening the door to the hydrogen future, making available thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents royalty free. Toyota initiative will spur development and introduction of innovative fuel cell technologies around the world. Toyota will invite royalty-free use of approximately 5,680 fuel cell related patents held globally, including critical technologies developed for the new Toyota Mirai. The list includes approximately 1,970 patents related to fuel cell stacks, 290 associated with high-pressure hydrogen tanks, 3,350 related to fuel cell system software control and 70 patents related to hydrogen production and supply. The new Mirai Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle was displayed at the press conference at CES and will be available in the US and Europe this year.

At Toyota’s press conference at CES, theoretical physicist and futurist Dr. Michio Kaku discusses a hydrogen future. He is a longtime proponent of hydrogen, in particular, hydrogen fuel cells as a key means to serve the world’s global energy needs and propel society to a more earth-friendly future. QGITS had the opportunity to talk with Kaku after Toyota’s press announcement. See video:

“At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,” said Bob Carter, Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations at Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. “The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration between automakers, government regulators, academia and energy providers. By eliminating traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the development of new technologies and move into the future of mobility more quickly, effectively and economically.”

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The hydrogen fuel cell patents will be made available to automakers who will produce and sell fuel cell vehicles, as well as to fuel cell parts suppliers and energy companies who establish and operate fueling stations, through the initial market introduction period, anticipated to last until 2020. Companies working to develop and introduce fuel cell busses and industrial equipment, such as forklifts, are also covered. Requests from parts suppliers and companies looking to adapt fuel cell technology outside of the transportation sector will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

This week’s announcement covers only fuel cell-related patents wholly owned by Toyota. Patents related to fuel cell vehicles will be available for royalty-free licenses until the end of 2020. Patents for hydrogen production and supply will remain open for an unlimited duration. As part of licensing agreements, Toyota will request, but will not require, that other companies share their fuel cell-related patents with Toyota for similar royalty-free use.

Companies interested in Toyota’s fuel cell-related patents will negotiate individual contracts with Toyota. Additional details, including licensing terms and application process, are available upon request.

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www.toyota.com/fuelcell

“Re:Imagine Garden Grove” 1st Ever Downtown Open Streets 3-Mile Community Event

“Re:Imagine Garden Grove” 1st Ever Downtown Open Streets 3-Mile Community Event

Jan 5, 2015

First time ever “Re:Imagine Garden Grove” downtown open streets event sponsored by the City of Garden Grove in Orange County celebrating community, innovation, diverse cultures, and a healthy lifestyle. The event was a temporary open streets of three mile car-free environment for people to walk, bike, run, skate, play and enjoy in a public space. There was also live entertainment, tasty food and drinks along with fun interactive programs for the whole family that took place in the heart of Downtown Garden Grove like never before. The City partnered with Los Angeles-based Community Arts Resources, Inc. (CARS) to produce the inaugural event. CARS produces L.A.’s CicLAvia open streets event and other acclaimed cultural programs with parallel missions to Re:Imagine Garden Grove.

“The City of Garden Grove started a reimagine downtown website a year before this event. We asked the community to participate in the website and share their ideas on how they would like to see downtown evolve over the short term and next 10 years. The idea came out of our website to reimagine the future of Garden Grove if we could continue on with these improvements so the community could have that feeling in downtown on regular basis..that is the ultimate goal.” – Susan Emery, Community Development Director of City of Garden Grove

QGITS attended Re:Imagine Garden Grove with various partners such as the OC Mini Maker Faire, Deezmaker Hackerspace & 3D printing shop, Mathobotix Robotics and STEAM Powered Education at the Garden Grove Regional Library Innovation area. Check out video to hear from them and see what cool and fun activity they demonstrated at the event to share with the local community in Garden Grove, Ca.

Re:Imagine Garden Grove
www.ggopenstreets.com

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