Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Education
December 19th, 2014
5:08
 

If you didn’t hear about this event from one of your siblings – or a co-worker – or just by browsing around on the Internet – here’s what social is really all about!   Learning and growing and changing the world – one click at a time!  All it takes is an

HOUR OF CODE

 

What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

When is the Hour of Code?

Anybody can host an Hour of Code anytime, but the grassroots campaign goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 8-14, 2014, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is it one specific hour? No. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week. (And if you can’t do it during that week, do it the week before or after).
The Hour of Code is organized by Code.org, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color.

In one week alone last year, 15 million students worldwide learned an Hour of Code.

Take an hour and do something valuable – host an hour of code in your neighborhood – maybe at the library? – for seniors, a scout troop – be creative!  Teaching is powerful and, if you’ve never had a chance to do it before, brings you rewards that you’ll not anticipate – and a sense of accomplishment that you’ve really contributed something amazing towards a Smarter Planet!

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In just under a week’s time, students from the University at Buffalo (myself included) will be visiting a local elementary school to teach the first graders about recycling. This is part of an educational outreach project for the University at Buffalo’s chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW)- a national environmental organization. Our goal is to simply teach the students what and how to recycle so that future generations will be more environmentally conscious.

Our day will start out early, arriving at the elementary school at 8:30 am, prior to the students’ arrivals. Throughout the day we will have a total of five classrooms to visit (and over 100 students)- we’re definitely going to have to bring the energy! We will start our lesson by asking the students what they know about recycling to stimulate some discussion on the topic. After teaching the students what items should be recycled, we will play a game with the entire class. The game will be on an interactive poster that each classroom may keep, hand-crafted by the members of ESW. Each poster is divided into three sections representing a trash, recycling, and compost bin, and the students can sort pictures of various items into their respective bins.

We hope that these activities will keep the students engaged and interested- six and seven year olds can be pretty unpredictable. Stay tuned to see how everything went!

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December 11th, 2014
5:39
 

One of the biggest challenges facing any entrepreneur is getting funding to turn their vision into actuality.  “Sugar daddies” and/or anonymous deep-pocketed benefactors don’t exactly grow on trees.  So it’s up to the visionary to get motivated and take their heads out of the clouds of big dreaming and think of the mundane, down-to-earth reality that they’re gonna need $$$ to get their project going.

Of course, Social Media has created new ways to reach out to would-be investors.  Names you may already be familiar with are Kickstarter and Indiegogo.  There’s a new site out there which might be the one for you!

BarnraiserBarnraiser

 

aims to help agriculture projects

get off the ground through crowdsourcing

 

Read the article in Modern Farmer for an interview with one of the principals, founder Eileen Gordon:  Barnraiser Aims to Be ‘Kickstarter’ for Sustainable Food

Maybe putting all your eggs in one basket could catapult you to be the next inventor helping us all achieve a Smarter Planet!

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Bruschetta

University College Cork
(2B)OR!(2B): From the Beehive to the Cloud and Back
Fiona Edwards Murphy, Liam O’Leary, Killian Troy, Lily Pinson and Katie Hetherington
Cloud and Mobile used to monitor honeybees in the hive.

 

 

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Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Street Bumps and Big Data Analytics:  Crowdsourcing Our Way to Better Roads
Theodora Brisimi, Yue Zhang, Wuyang Dai, Setareh Ariafar, Nicholis Baladis
Analytics to crowd source the path to better roads

 

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Delft University of Technology
Proposal for IEEE/IBM Smarter Planet Challenge
Amir Piltan, Nicolas Kramer Floyd, Olac Grouwstra
Cloud based analytics platform for health care SMEs

 

RainbowSwinburne University of Technology, Malaysia
Project Lily
Ting Yang, Kah Hung, Poh Ling Hung
Crowd sourced environmental monitoring

 

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Sun-Yat Sen University and South China University of Technology
Self Medical
Jianghong Zhou, Zixiao Yang, Cindy Chen, Heng Du, Jujie Peng
Mining medical data for improved health care

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November 18th, 2014
10:03
 

Fourteen flooring tiles from London-based clean-tech company Pavegen Systems were installed outside the Saint-Omer subway station in northern France. The tiles, each roughly 7 by 24 inches, generate renewable electricity from the otherwise wasted energy of footsteps.

When a walker’s foot makes contact with the tile, it bends inappreciably, depressing an average of five millimeters each step and creating approximately seven watts of converted kinetic energy in the process. The slabs, made from 100 percent recycled rubber, can store energy for up to 72 hours via small built-in batteries.

The concept was conceived in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, then a graduate student in industrial design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

The concept was conceived in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, then a graduate student in industrial design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

“I realized that although wind and solar alternatives were progressing exponentially, they were inefficient in urban environments due to high-rise infrastructure and pollution,” he says. “Given that 60 percent of the world’s population would be residing in urban environments by 2030, I decided to investigate further. I discovered footfall as an untapped, renewable resource that is efficient, constant, and literally all around us, to be used when and where it is needed.”

The tiles were also installed at the Simon Langton Grammar school in Kent, UK. Check out the students’ reaction to this exciting new technology:

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This is a win-win situation for all involved: the students who get inspired to think of ways to contribute to a smarter planet at a very young impressionable age, the company looking to expand operations into different venues to capture greener energy production, and, of course, the entrepreneur who profits from this great new technology!

What a great world we live in – that young minds can shape a very (literally) bright future!

 

 

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