So here’s ASU’s (School of Earth and Space Exploration) version of TED Talks – KEDTalks.(In case you’re wondering, KED stands for ‘Knowledge-Enterprise-Development.’)
Perhaps, SpaceX and AirBnb are already holding talks on this!
I came across an excellent primer for students on How to Spot Fake News. It simplified a few things we (and students) could do to check if a story is credible.
In teaching Photoshop a big part of it is to get students to create something that seems plausible, but ‘fake.’ This week, one of my 6th graders worked on an animal face-off and was amazed at how real a photo-montage might seem, even though it was a silly cat-fight.
Back to the Common Sense Media article. It lists six things to check for:
I found a more insightful primer from Washington Post (Video below), which provided more ways to validate a story or an image. Such as:
Yes, many images we see are so heavily doctored that we turn a blind eye to the fact that they are not exactly real. So my hope is that by Photoshopping images themselves, students might pay a little more attention to the visuals coming at them from media platforms they use.
And that’s not even getting to the language used to pitch the story or idea, learning to look for clues in the craft of the writer, which is another topic entirely.
Last week I was contacted by ‘FIRST Global‘, an organization launching an Olympic-styled robotics event in Washington, DC, in July 2017. They were keen to see students from Sri Lanka represent their country.
I have been talking to organizations in Sri Lanka about this, and wanted to summarize details of the endeavor.
FIRST Global is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur, Dean Kamen, whose organization holds several robotics competitions for schools across the country. My school participates in it, and I have been the robotics coach since 2012. But this event is different, and stretches its global footprint to reach out to every country on earth, and empower students in engineering and science.
Here’s a batch of pictures taken by my students yesterday. Cameras may seem ‘old school’ but there’s always an interest in the basics of aperture, lighting, and perspective. In my Ed-Tech class, 5th and 6th graders can’t seem to have enough of this, as the results show.
An accidental homage to Silicon Valley?
Two very different perspectives of a robotic arm
There are much more! Who knows what ideas they will come back with after Spring Break?
There is a lot of discussion on whether the US can afford to be in the space business. After all it costs something in the range of $4 billion to maintain the International Space Station.
It cost $1.7 billion to build a space shuttle back in the day. The Space station’s building it and running costs have a price tag of $160 billion. But that bill is divided by all tenants – the Big Four (United States, Russia, Canada, Japan) plus 10 other European nations. Some estimates put the US portion at $3 billion a year.
NASA which is now focused heavily on research, is committed to supporting the space station until 2024, which is about six years ahead of when it expects to have a Mars mission ready. NASA has always had a research bent, since its inception as ‘NACA’ which was called a Research Laboratory.
Exploring another planet may seem a luxury, considering that our tax dollars are being used for other urgent matters at hand – healthcare, infrastructure, etc But the ongoing work in planning for a trip to the red planet is in and of itself an endeavor that helps scientists and engineers push the boundaries of science and technology. Take for instance the ‘lab work’ going on in the continuous study of humans in Mars-like habitats on an Island of Hawaii. Or hundreds of experiments being done in space (on the Space Station) on cellular biology, remote sensing, micro-biology, seed growth, and micro-gravity.
The latter two, are some of the dozen science projects from students, who would one day diversify, and spearhead various fields we have not even heard of today. Mission 12, will accept experiments from Grades 5 to 16, for their experiment to be included on a flight to the International Space Station in September this year.
Perhaps it is this scientific thrust, and the work of an emerging cadre of scientists who would make NASA great again!