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

SoCal MakerCon at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Posted by on Oct 17, 2014

SoCal MakerCon was recently at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Just like Vocademy and the IE Mini Maker Faire – they all share a...

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TECHNOLOGY

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify 3D Printing at Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Posted by on Oct 19, 2014

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify Inc. and his team recently attended the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Thingify a product development company...

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SCIENCE

CEO Brent  Bushnell of Two Bit Circus at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014

A lifelong engineer and entrepreneur CEO Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus a high tech circus attended the recently held 1st-ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy...

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Recent Posts

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify 3D Printing at Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify 3D Printing at Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 19, 2014

CEO Brian Arandez of Thingify Inc. and his team recently attended the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Thingify a product development company offers 3D printing services to help take your concept idea and translate it to a working 3D model that is 3D print ready. They promote innovation by helping anyone to express their ideas in 3D that enables them to shape their ideas from “Think Tank to Thing Tank.” Thingify attended the 1st-ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire in celebration for what makers do — what they make, how they make it and the enthusiasm and passion that drives them. At the event Embedded Hardware & Software Engineer Arman Bastani spoke with Brian Arandez from Thingify a bit more about the different additive manufacturing 3D printing technologies and client artwork at the IE Mini Maker Faire.

thingify

www.thingify.net

SoCal MakerCon at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

SoCal MakerCon at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 17, 2014

SoCal MakerCon was recently at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Just like Vocademy and the IE Mini Maker Faire – they all share a common belief in celebrating inventiveness, innovation, creativity, resourcefulness and the celebration of the emerging Maker Movement. SoCal MakerCon is an up and coming event on November 8th at the Los Angeles Fairplex,that is inspired by the Maker movement. The Maker Movement is the future of how innovation and invention will occur and empowering people all over the world to collaborate and take initiative on their own ideas. See full list of speakers, exhibitors and demos at SoCal MakerCon. Also watch video interview with Matt Terndrup technology and art journalist talking with Aaron Berg, Event Manager of SoCal MakerCon from recently held Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire in Riverside, Ca.

socal-maker-con-12 (1)

www.socalmakercon.com/

CEO Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

CEO Brent  Bushnell of Two Bit Circus at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 14, 2014

A lifelong engineer and entrepreneur CEO Brent Bushnell of Two Bit Circus a high tech circus attended the recently held 1st-ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at Vocademy Makerspace in Riverside, Ca. Two Bit Circus engineers entertainment that is imaginative and interactive, blurring the line between physical and digital playgrounds to create a new world of social amusement. They have developed various experiential entertainment platforms like the STEAM Carnival that is a modern take on the traveling circus, using high-tech amusement and project-based kits to inspire kids of all ages about science, technology, engineering, art and math. See video interview by Matt Terndrup, technology & art journalist talking with Brent Bushnell while at the IE Mini Maker Faire event .

Two bit circus

www.twobitcircus.com

Gene Sherman Founder of Vocademy & Organizer of 1st-Ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Gene Sherman Founder of Vocademy & Organizer of 1st-Ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire

Oct 13, 2014

Gene Sherman the Founder & Organizer of Vocademy Makerspace recently held the 1st-Ever Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire at his facility Oct. 4th in Riverside, Ca. The IE Mini Maker Faire is a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and a celebration of local maker culture. What a perfect place for the event to be held at Vocademy as they are the place where people come together to learn new hands on skills, a place to take an idea to create new innovative things and a place that wants to help create a “community of makers.” At the IE Maker Faire there were atleast a 100 different makers & exhibitors displaying projects from LED light displays, 3d printing & printers, electric vehicles, lots of robots, a cool Batmobile, even an electric giraffe that has visited the white house. View the full list of makers that attended this year’s 1st Mini Maker Faire in the Inland Empire. Also check out this video with Anil Pattni from OCHackerz who spoke with Gene Sherman at the maker faire located at Vocademy Makerspace.


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Vocademy

www.vocademy.com

RapidTech 3D Printing at Garden Grove Library STEM Innovation Lounge

RapidTech 3D Printing at Garden Grove Library STEM Innovation Lounge

Oct 5, 2014

RapidTech is the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for the development and advancement of Additive Manufacturing (AM) 3D printing and related technologies. RapidTech is in the UC Irvine Engineering building and has been teaching students advanced manufacturing techniques, promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and providing national training workshops targeting educators. Director Ed Tackett and Engineering Director Benjamin Dolan of RapidTech both recently gave a presentation and demo on 3D printing to Garden Grove High School students at the Garden Grove Library Innovation STEM Lounge. Check out video from the event by RapidTech, as Ben and Ed talk about “What is 3D printing?” and 3D laser scan a student.

Here is more information on 3D printing by RapidTech: Click here for presentation slides.

rapidtech
ucirvine_01

First of its Kind–a Blood Test for Depression?

First of its Kind–a Blood Test for Depression?

Sep 30, 2014

depression

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. It is a debilitating illness characterized by loss of energy, lack of pleasure in life and potentially suicidal thoughts. Diagnosis of this sickness is often done by family physicians, and is based on the patient’s reports of their symptoms. The problem with this system is that patients often under-report symptoms so diagnosis is difficult. Fortunately there may be another way.

 

A recent study in Nature published by Dr. EE Redei et al at Northwestern University in Chicago Illinois suggests that depression has biomarkers, or parameters that are measurable, in the blood stream. Before DNA gets translated into protein, it first gets converted into RNA transcripts. This is what they used for biomarkers—they extracted RNA from the blood of patients with and without Major Depressive Disorder and looked for differences. They found three markers that differed between those who were sick and those who were not.

Blood-test-tube

Besides antidepressants, a common treatment for depression is cognitive behavioral therapy. Excitingly enough, they found transcript differences between those who improved from the therapy and those who did not. This indicates that the markers may be a measurable parameter of the severity of the illness. This means the blood test could be used to determine if treatment is working.

 

Having a blood test to diagnose depression is a huge step forward in the treatment of mental illness. If we could develop tests that catch these illnesses before they manifest themselves fully we could treat them before they get out of hand and the patients require hospitalization. This would keep healthcare costs down and improve the quality of life for many people.

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

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

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 with more efficient solutions to this inevitable fate. One of the main focuses has been to create more affordable solar cells so that solar power technology can become more accessible to the commercial public.  This has been an issue that synthetic chemists and polymer scientists have been working on for decades.

This month, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst released an exciting report stating that they have come up with a more efficient and lightweight, low-cost organic solar cell that is “breaking the electrode barrier” since virtually any metal can be used with it.  One of the main problems with solar power technology is that the power conversion efficiency, that is how much energy from the sun that can actually be harnessed and utilized, has been hindered by the instability and susceptibility to oxidation that normal metal electrodes commonly face.

“The sun produces 7,000 times more energy per day than we can use, but we can’t harness it well. One reason is the trade-off between oxidative stability and the work function of the metal cathode,” explains UMass Amherst’s Thomas Russell, professor of polymer science and engineering.  When choosing a metal for use as an electrode, scientists always have to compensate with the trade-off.  More stable metals that don’t degrade in the presence of water and oxygen have high work function but do not allow for good electron-transport.  The metals that have high electron-transport eventually degrade over time and will therefore slowly become less conductive.

“People have thought you’d need to use tricks to help electrons, the water in the lock, over an obstacle, the electrode, like a dam. Tricks like sawing the dam apart to allow the flow. But tricks are always messy, introducing a lot of stuff you don’t need,” says Russell. “The beauty of the solution reached by these synthetic chemists is to just move the dam out of the way, electronically move it so there is no longer a difference in energy level.”

This has been a challenge that was unmet and was therefore the goal that was accomplished by the research team at UMass Amherst.

To read the specifics about just how this research team was able to create these new low-cost organic solar cells, check out the following links:

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Science Daily

Dr. Michael Werner Project Scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope speaking at AIAA Dinner Event in Pasadena, Ca

Dr. Michael Werner Project Scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope speaking at AIAA Dinner Event in Pasadena, Ca

Sep 25, 2014

Dr. Michael Werner Project Scientist for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Chief Scientist for Astronomy and Physics at JPL Caltech, recently spoke at the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) San Gabriel Section dinner event at Beckham Grill & Bar in Pasadena, Ca. The Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, is an infrared telescope that studies the early universe, young galaxies and forming stars, and is used to detect dust disks around stars, considered an important signpost of planetary formation. The mission is the fourth and final observatory under NASA’s Great Observatories program, which also includes the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. It is also the first new mission under NASA’s Origins program, which seeks to answer the questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone?

Gregory Smetana, Ph.D. student in Aeronautics, Explosion Dynamics Laboratory at Caltech interviewed Dr. Michael Werner while at the AIAA dinner event right before his presentation started:

To Learn More, visit:

Dr. Michael Werner

2014 AIAA Space Science Award

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope

Spitzer discover largest ring around Saturn

Spitzer Science Center

spitzer logo

Mathobotix presents First Robotics to High School Students at the Garden Grove Library

Mathobotix presents First Robotics to High School Students at the Garden Grove Library

Sep 15, 2014

Recently Mathobotix presented to high school students at the Garden Grove Library information about First Robotics and how to get a team started. Mathobotix headquarted in Irvine, Ca offers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational services K – 12 linking Robotics to Grade Level Academic Success and Workplace. So it’s no surprise that CEO & President Kumar Ramajayam of Mathobotix is also the point of contact and Regional Director for First Robotics in Orange County, Ca. After the presentation, QGITS asked Teen Services Librarian of the Garden Grove Libray – Kimberly Banks what she thought about having First Robotics come out and talk to the students. “It seems like a great program that provides opportunities for teens to get real world engineering experience, as well as learn important team-building skills. It would be a excellent program for Garden Grove High School or a team from all three of the Garden Grove high schools to get involved with.”

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In photo: Louis Gavidia Mentor at Mathobotix speaking to Garden Grove High School students.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and compete in games. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Students involved in First Robotics learn from professional engineers, build and compete with a robot of their own design, learn and use sophisticated hardware and software, develop design, project management, programming, teamwork and strategic thinking, they can earn a place in the Championship, qualify for scholarships at over 150 colleges. www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc

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In photo: President Kumar Ramajayam of Mathobotix and mentor Louis Gavidia. www.mathobotix.com

Mathobotix

FRC
oc public libaries

A Portable EKG Integrated with GoPro & Arduino by Inventor Andrew Wilson

A Portable EKG Integrated with GoPro & Arduino by Inventor Andrew Wilson

Sep 12, 2014

This video shows the heart activity of inventor Andrew Wilson, Embedded Engineer while making a BASE jump in Moab, Utah wearing a portable EKG, integrated with a GoPro. It’s a technical engineering project, but built for no other reason than to do it–that is an applied engineering multi media experience art! The home built electro-cardiogram is powered by an Arduino Uno and is paired with the GoPro video during the jump. He added a LED and piezo buzzer that blink/buzz at the beginning of each data capture also custom software was written to filter the data and render it into the playable video you see here. The numbers shown alongside the green heart activity trace are calculated beats per minute. When the numbers are not displayed, the data was too noisy to distinguish the heart beat.

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Photo by Andrew Wilson

See this cool EKG base jump video Andrew created with filtered EKG traces and ‘beat per minute’ calculations.

To read up on the full project overview, check out:
http://derefnull.org/ekg/