Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
October 23rd, 2015

Technology continues its march around the world.  This post focuses on a major project which has been in the works since 2013 in Thailand, specifically Myanmar.  The budget and scope of this endeavor – the first Solar Plant to be constructed in Thailand – is impressive.  Read about both the plant and the design team that has been engaged to bring this vision to fruition…

Here’s the backgound on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Green Earth Power in 2013 [Note:  the company is privately held and does not have a website of its own; but, they are the driving force behind the new power plant.]

Green Earth Power to develop Myanmar’s first solar plant

“Green Earth Power (Thailand), the developer of the power plant, on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power for the country’s first solar power plant. Total project value is US$275 million (Bt8.15 billion).”

“…present power production was not enough to support industrialisation in Myanmar and solar energy would be the first supplemental source of electricity. Currently, 70 per cent of electricity in Myanmar is from hydropower, 20 per cent from gas turbines, and 10 per cent from coal power plants.”


and the press from this month trumpeting the project’s movement forward

Black & Veatch to provide design services for Myanmar’s first solar plant

Take some time to read the Press Release from Black & Veatch about the project:

Black & Veatch starts work in Myanmar on Southeast Asia’s largest solar power plant

And spend a little time learning about the design company itself – with international locations, might this be a future employer that interests you?

black & veatch logo

Green Earth Power has been a proponent of solar for some time. Here’s another interesting piece about endeavors they are undertaking in Japan (published in 2013) – Rising Sun to power Thai panels

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October 21st, 2015

There are any number of competitions being held globally to stimulate the minds of budding inventors and planet champions.  Here’s one specifically for Africa from UNESCO, for which the deadline to submit an application is mid-November .

Some of the detail – - There are four programmes within the ANESI Mobility Programme: ANESI’s Student Exchange Programme, Researcher Exchange Programme, University/Industry Joint Training Programme and visiting Fellowship for Outstanding Women Geoscientists. Deadline for applications: 15 November 2015.

UNESCO’s Earth Science Education Initiative in Africa, which aims to support the development of the next generation of Earth scientists in Africa who are equipped with the necessary tools, networks and perspectives to apply sound science to solving and benefiting from the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development, is implemented through ANESI.


Click on the logo below to learn the details:


There’s so much to be done to aid the development of the nations which make up this continent.  Will YOU be a contributor?

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Innovation is all around us.  And, the race is on globally to become the next city or country or continent that boasts the most advanced technology and become home to companies churning out that technology.  The Renaissance brought changes in a myriad of disciplines.  The Industrial Revolution did the same.

Now the changes are less ‘visible’ or ‘tangible’ and more “Cloud-y” – if you’ll pardon the pun!

Chattanooga’s hyper-fast connectivity has become

“a platform for innovation.”


Read the article and watch the video to learn about how


With Gigabit Connectivity,


Chattanooga Could Be


the Next Tech Hub


Chattanooga flag


Maybe a ride on the Chattanooga Choo-Choo will be part of your career path?!

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While the term “Climate Change” brings about a host of responses when dropped into casual conversation, there have been many weather events that give credence to the idea that our planet is undergoing some pattern shifts.  Since we don’t have written records that date back to the days of the dinosaurs, we have no way of knowing if the recent changes have occurred at some time previously – and, there was no Social Media to give us instantaneous reports back then either!

With all that being said – whether you believe in the phenomenon of “Climate Change” or not – UNESCO believes that it is important to educate today’s students on climatology so they are prepared for the future.  They have designed a tool for teachers, released earlier this year, so that this topic can be discussed and explored.   Regardless of your position on the politics, knowing about the weather and its effects can not be a bad idea for inclusion in the curriculum.  Read about UNESCO’s publication here:




(If you want a more in-depth look at the content, you can download the publication using the link they provide on the right.)


Learn more about UNESCO’s programs to promote education, diversity, sustainable living and their other global impacts by clicking on the logo:


UNESCO is known as the “intellectual” agency of the United Nations. At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, people must rely on the power of intelligence to innovate, expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism. UNESCO exists to bring this creative intelligence to life; for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built.

What will your contribution be towards innovation that sustains our home planet?

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Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective, was regularly whipping his trusty magnifying glass out of his greatcoat to examine clues at crime scenes.  In both the printed short stories and novels, as well as on film, his deeper scrutiny of evidence – via the enlargement by lens – was most often followed by an “a-ha!” moment that typically leads to the villian(s)’ undoing.  Now, imagine that every man, woman and child all over the planet could engage in their own “a-ha” moment…not necessarily as a crime-solver, but for the simple pleasure of seeking out answers.

That’s the dream of one Manu Prakash, a professor at Stanford University in California.  He wants everyone to have the tools available to “think like a scientist”!  High-tech usually equates to high dollars to obtain the equipment necessary for scientific study.  School budgets are notoriously strapped in both developed and developing countries.  Professor Prakash and his research mates at PrakashLab have given the every-man a solution – their unit is a print-and-fold optical microscope that can be assembled from a flat sheet of paper:


Foldscope: Microscopy for



Photo credit:


Released in 2014, and much publicized then (check out: Foldscope Is A Paper Microscope That Can Fit In Your Pocket on Inquisitr) and since (take a look at this video posted on the Stanford Medicine Scope blog this June: Microscopes for the masses), the intervening time has been spent making this patented invention available in all corners of the globe.

And take a look at the many uses that have been devised by the folks who were part of their highly successful beta program:

Foldscope Explore: Exploring the Microcosmos


The endless possibilities for exploration and learning and disease control and…  well, what will YOU do with the microscope in YOUR pocket?  Or will you create the next affordable equipment that we can all have access to?  The journey has begun – where will you take it?

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