Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
December, 15th 2014

If you’re from the British Isles, you take ‘the lift’ when you want to ascend to an upper floor in a building.  There’s now tech that will make your travel in an elevator a bit more unusual -

 “So what exactly makes the design so special? First, it can travel sideways as well as up and down, making it ideal for building designs such as Google’s under-construction “groundscraper” in London, which, as its nickname sort of suggests, is longer than it is tall.”


New Magnetic


Sideways Elevator


Watch the video announcement from the system’s designer:  ThyssenKrupp


Otis Elevators, founded by Elisha Otis, is still the world’s largest producers of vertical transport systems. We’re still largely using cable systems to hoist elevator cabs up and down between floors, as we did in the early 1800s. And as urbanization stretches cities taller and wider, this will have to change.”

There’s a batch of articles on the subject – it’s being tested in Germany at present.

Read more:

If they install this on any campuses, wouldn’t this be a cool way to get to that class you’re always late for???

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…. but something else quite unexpected.  Remember video cassettes, those big black boxes that played pictures? They were the ancestors to DVDs. They no longer have to occupy our landfills – some 4,000 of them have been used to build a house, along with two tons of denim jeans, 2,000 used carpet tiles and 20,000 used toothbrushes.

Britain’s first house made almost entirely from rubbish is based at the University of Brighton. From the kitchen counter made from coffee cups, to the stairs made from paper, this live research project will pave the way for entrepreneurs to find sustainable ways to construct housing.

blog house2

The construction industry currently discards 20% of everything it uses, meaning that for every five houses built enough waste is generated to build one extra house.

As the cost of raw materials continues to rise, the UK’s first A rated energy-efficient building made from waste, may be the first of many.

Would you want to live in one of these energy-efficient houses, or better yet, would you like to be credited with building one?

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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, 13th 2014

I ran across this site while doing some other research into technology and was impressed by the very clear and solid goal this group has stated.  Take a look at this particular organization’s website by clicking the logo below.  Let it drive you to recognizing and actualizing a plan to make an impact in whatever area of the world calls to you most…it could be your neighborhood, your campus, your state – or a much larger geographical area.  How will you lead the charge to provide for ‘all’??

Energy for all

Energy poverty is one of the most pressing issues of this century. It’s a problem of technology, of infrastructure, of economics, of culture, and of politics – and it impacts over a billion people in the Asia-Pacific region alone.

Our goal is clear: We aim to provide energy access to 100 million people in Asia and the Pacific Region by 2015.



For 12/13

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Philips has just announced their 2014 Innovation Fellows winner. VoiceItt, developer of the voice recognition software TalkItt, is the grand prize winner of the second annual Philips Innovation Fellows competition.

blog talkitt

TalkItt empowers people with motor, speech or language disorders to easily communicate. By recognizing the user’s vocal patterns, the app will translate unintelligible pronunciation from any language into understandable speech via a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Just think of the possibilities – this new program will give a voice to those, who typically, can’t communicate. This is a truly revolutionary product.

Do you have the skills to make this world a better place for those in need of communication tools?

Also, please keep an eye out for the 2015 Philips Innovation Fellows competition as this is an annual event. Do you have an idea for the next big thing in health and well-being? Do you want to help change the world? If so, please share your idea with Philips.

You never know, you may be the 2015 winner!

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