News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

GREEN

New Study: Earthquakes Contributing to Global Climate Change

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015

Yes, it’s true.  Humans are destroying the planet and contributing to global climate change with our cars, aerosol cans, and our massive industries.  While we are the main...

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INNOVATE

Build & Program Robots with Rokit Smart by Robolink | OCMMF 2015

Posted by on May 12, 2015

Rokit Smart is a user-friendly robotics kit that teaches building and programming of robots without soldering or prior experience. A few years ago, Robolink developed its first...

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TECHNOLOGY

Woodbury University MCD Student Showcase Celebration

Posted by on May 6, 2015

Attend this year’s weeklong celebration of student work showcased at Woodbury University School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD). The MCD showcase provides an opportunity...

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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

Build & Program Robots with Rokit Smart by Robolink | OCMMF 2015

Build & Program Robots with Rokit Smart by Robolink | OCMMF 2015

May 12, 2015

Rokit Smart is a user-friendly robotics kit that teaches building and programming of robots without soldering or prior experience. A few years ago, Robolink developed its first prototype of Rokit Smart to teach students how to build and program robots the easy way. This past weekend, Robolink showcased Rokit Smart at the OC Mini Maker Faire (OCMMF) at Irvine Valley College. The OC Mini Maker Faire is a celebration of the Maker Movement to inspire others to innovate and become Makers themselves. QGITS talked with founder Hansol Hong of Robolink at OCMMF to talk more about their inventive & creative robotics after school program for students and new product launch.

QGITS: Tell us about Robolink.

Hansol Hong: I run robotics education company in San Diego. We have been teaching over a thousand students on how to build and program robots. We are very excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday and release our robotics kit – Rokit Smart. We teach in San Diego but basically our idea is that we can go everywhere and share this innovative kit with everyone. So we released all of our know-hows online for free, as long as they have the kit, they can just use this.

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QGITS: How does Rokit Smart work?

Hansol Hong: Students get a kit, with one box you can make twelve different robots with it. We included all of the building and programming instructions online, so the students can just simply follow along just like Khan Academy style, following youtube videos, then building and programming along with that. They will make twelve different exciting robots with Rokit Smart and it’s really fun.

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Please help support Rokit Smart set the foundation for future generations of robotics education and make it affordable for everyone. Watch their Kickstarter video campaign and click here to help support this project at Kickstarter.

 

 

Woodbury University MCD Student Showcase Celebration

Woodbury University MCD Student Showcase Celebration

May 6, 2015

Attend this year’s weeklong celebration of student work showcased at Woodbury University School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD). The MCD showcase provides an opportunity for each department in the school to share student work at the end of the year with the campus community and members of the general public. Emphasis is placed on graduating students but many programs include work from each year of the program to demonstrate the progression in student learning outcomes. The event highlights the achievements of our students and connect with an audience that grows in size every year.

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School of Media, Culture & Design (MCD) is a thriving dynamic school with the special mission of educating the next generation of creative professionals. Students learn, in many cases, directly from faculty that work in the surrounding creative economy. They also benefit from small class sizes, new digital infrastructure, and enriching student life programs. Watch video interview to hear more about the Media, Culture & Design program at Woodbury from a recent hands on interactive creative workshop for high school students. After the event, QGITS had a chance to talk with Edward Clift, Dean of School of Media, Culture & Design and Marcela Rodriguez, Admissions Counselor at Woodbury University.

The Animation program at Woodbury University emerge students with the knowledge, creative tools, and networking skills necessary to build a successful career. Woodbury’s internship model combines theory with practice by offering hands-on experience working with entertainment studios, production companies and interactive companies. To see a live showing of Animation & Filmmaking projects produced by students register here to attend Woodbury’s MCD showcase event May 7th & 8th. Also to hear more about the Animation program, watch video interview by QGITS from a recent Animation Workshop for high school students, talking with Dori Littell-Herrick, Chair of the Department of Animation in the School of Media, Culture and Design.

A dynamic video display of 3D objects turned into a stunning display by projection mapping tests from the class “TECH 3700: Media Environments” in the department of Media Technology at Woodbury University – Spring 2015. This beautiful piece was created by students: Tarun Dhiman, Marcus Murray, and Ryan Duarte. To see this live sign up and attend the Media Tech Showcase Friday May 8th from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Reserve your seat here.

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Teaching for the 21st Century: Meet Dr. Philip Janowicz

Teaching for the 21st Century: Meet Dr. Philip Janowicz

May 2, 2015

Most people cringe and/or gag involuntarily when they hear the words “organic chemistry“.  For those of us who have been through the course, it brings back painful memories that probably manifested in stereochemical nightmares during those college years.   For those who have never taken the course, organic chemistry seems daunting and impossible, like trying to get from San Clemente to Santa Monica during rush hour without hitting any traffic.  These are just two groups of people.  The third belongs to a class (pun intended) entirely of their own and it is those who have taken Dr. Philip Janowicz’s organic chemistry class.  Those people do not have panic in their eyes when the term is brought to mind and it is not just because Dr. Janowicz is a fantastic teacher, but because he is an innovator for the 21st century.

 

 

Philip Janowicz has his B.S. in Chemistry, Brain, and Cognitive Science with a minor in Psychology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  He has his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Organic Chemistry with a focus in Online Education.  He currently teaches at California State University Fullerton, where he also conducts research in online education.

 

 

Andrea Kuipers - I am a well versed, interdisciplinary scientist with a background in marketing, media, & journalism. I am currently finishing up degree number five at Cal State University Fullerton & working in a biochemical/biotechnology lab engineering proteins. Linkedin

Tesla Product Launch Unveiling 2015

Tesla Product Launch Unveiling 2015

Apr 30, 2015

Today at 8pm PST watch a livestream of Tesla product launch event from the Design Studio in Hawthorne, CA. Catch the livestream at the Tesla Motors website for a much awaited announcement to be unveiled that is “not a car” stated by Elon Musk himself on Twitter.

Early April, Tesla introduced the Model S 70D, an all-wheel drive electric car with a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds and a 250 mile range at 65 mph. Tesla also has the world’s fastest Supercharger stations with multiple chargers at each station. Currently there are 425 Supercharger stations with 2,338 Superchargers. They are free connectors that charge Model S in minutes instead of hours. Stations are strategically placed to minimize stops during long distance travel and Superchargers provide 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes.

We will surley find out today what new product venture is next for Elon Musk.

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www.teslamotors.com

New Study: Earthquakes Contributing to Global Climate Change

New Study: Earthquakes Contributing to Global Climate Change

Apr 11, 2015

Yes, it’s true.  Humans are destroying the planet and contributing to global climate change with our cars, aerosol cans, and our massive industries.  While we are the main reason for the latest change in our global climate, a new study suggests that the earth is also contributing to ozone loss via earthquakes.

A study done by the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan examined the 9.0 magnitude 2011 Tohoku earthquake which not only took 18,000 lives and caused miles of total demolition, not to mention the worldwide effects the large quake created, but it also released 6, 600 metric tons (that’s 7, 275 US tons) of carbon gases into the atmosphere.  These gases are called halocarbons and are stored in insulation, appliances, and other various equipment.  This is the first study done to look at emissions caused by a natural disaster and as this study revealed critical information, there will be many more to follow.  

Some of the gases that were released during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake include gases that are no longer used due to their harmful effects on the atmosphere.  Some of these gases include CFC-11 which is a powerful ozone-depleting foam used until 1996 when it was banned.  Another halocarbon HCFC-22, a refrigerant that is another strong greenhouse gas and is being phased out although it is used in many refrigerators and air conditioners.  About 50 percent of the emissions caused by the earthquake were due to this common refrigerant.  Emissions of the gas were found to be 38 percent higher than the years before and after the earthquake, the study shows.  Emissions of CFC-11 were 72 percent higher following the massive earthquake.

Overall, the effects of the halocarbon releasing due to the earthquake increased ozone depletion by 38 percent.  It also increased the amount of heat trapped in Japan’s atmosphere by 36 percent.  However the overall impact of one such disaster is relatively small as Takuya Saito, senior researcher on the project, calculated with his team. The total impact the earthquake had on the overall greenhouse emissions for the year was just under 4%.  That may seem small, but it definitely was enough for the calculations to remain important and will be important for others to conduct similar studies of greenhouse gases released by earthquakes and other natural disasters, Saito feels.

What is also important to take away from this study is that we humans need to stop using atmosphere-damaging chemicals in our industries and home products.  I may have jokingly blamed the earth, but if it wasn’t for us storing these harmful chemicals, they would have never been released in the tremor and poisoned our already bruised atmosphere.  This study will help policymakers regulate the use and storage of these chemicals in the future.  For as we know bloody well in California, nothing on earth is safe during an earthquake.

For more reading, check out:

Science Daily

Andrea Kuipers - I am a well versed, interdisciplinary scientist with a background in marketing, media, & journalism. I am currently finishing up degree number five at Cal State University Fullerton & working in a biochemical/biotechnology lab engineering proteins. Linkedin

Deezmaker 3D Printer Hacking Day & New Makerspace Preview

Deezmaker 3D Printer Hacking Day & New Makerspace Preview

Apr 5, 2015

Deezmaker 3d Printer & Hackerspace retail store located in Pasadena, Ca was the first 3-D printer store on the West Coast in 2012 and today attendees were able to preview behind the scenes of new upcoming Makerspace expansion. Deezmaker will now also be a community center with a strong focus on education and resources for all types of fabrication. The new added space will offer over 1000 sqft of self-service equipment, tools, and more. Makerspace members will have access to 3D printers, laser cutting, soldering equipment, vinyl cutters and more to bring their projects to life. At the preview, QGITS talked with Diego Porqueras, Founder of Deezmaker and Creator of Bukobot & Bukito 3D Printers.

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QGITS: Deezmaker has monthly events, what’s different about today’s event?

Diego Porqueras: Were having our 1st Sunday’s of the month meetup here at Deezmaker but today we are having something a little special…people are able to preview our new Makerspace, our new extension to our shop. We are growing, getting a little bigger, it’s not totally complete but were almost there. We are going to start membership so people can create projects in the new space and be next door to our production area. Our official grand opening date to the public will be May 3rd.

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QGITS: This is pretty cool right here, I heard you made this 3d printer scanner?

Diego Porqueras: It’s based on something we have seen on the internet and Rich one of the makers here at the shop, made a 3d printer scanner that is portable and telescopic. I decided to make one less complicated. It can’t be moved very easily but it 3d scans people with the Xbox Kinect. It’s very simple and fun.

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3d scan Metal Photo: Metal 3d scanning James at Deezmaker.

QGITS also talked with Metal, Production Manager at Deezmaker who was also 3d scanning people at the event. Here’s what he had to say about the new extension to the Hackerspace.

“People can come into the new space and make awesome cool stuff and have all the resources. This is the perfect environment for allowing people to try things without having all the prereqs. If you have a task we will help you get there, you dont have to know how to do it, just have the desire to want to learn. – Metal, Production Manager at Deezmaker

Deezmaker
www.Deezmaker.com
www.meetup.com/print3d/
www.bukobot.com

Drones, Cameras & VR at Woodbury University Media Technology Program

Drones, Cameras & VR at Woodbury University Media Technology Program

Apr 1, 2015

Woodbury University’s School of Media, Culture + Design (MCD) in Burbank, Ca hosted a free hands on Creative Workshop for high school and college students to experience the campus, meet the faculty and the chance to win some cool prizes like Raspberry Pi, Art books and supplies. Woodbury MCD is a thriving dynamic school with the special mission of educating the next generation of creative professionals. At the Creative Workshop there were 10 workshops to select from such as Filmmaking, Game Art & Design, Media Technology, Pschology, Animation, Graphic Design and Fashion Design. QGITS stopped by the Media Tech Workshop, “Drones, Cameras, and Remote Cinematography” and talked with Jesse Gilbert, MFA/Chair of Media Technology and Joey Arcaro, 1st year Media Tech student at Woodbury. Watch video with Jesse and Joey to hear about the Media Tech workshop and program for students.

Some photos taken from the Media Tech Workshop of activities that students were able to experience like the immersive virtual reality headset Oculus Rift.

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During the earlier part of the workshop, students were working on sending footage to their phone via a free app to remote cinematography by a drone. Also in the video with Jesse and Joey, you can hear what happened to the drone.
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Video of MediaTech Final Showcase which demonstrates some exemplary work produced by students in the program at Woodbury MCD.

MediaTech Final Showcase (Updated) from kassey cordoba on Vimeo.

For more info about Woodbury University’s School of Media, Culture + Design: mcd.woodbury.edu/

Woodbury University

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.

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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: