Makey Makey

Just add a banana!

 

Girls involved in tech and coding is the best. All of us at Laboratory5 love all things STEAM especially science and engineering so the Makey Makey concept gets us pretty excited. What can you do with a Makey Makey kit?You can turn everyday objects like bananas into touchpads! You can connect the world around you to your computer! You do not need any programing knowledge.  This is a great summer activity!

Order a kit from these folks
Kit Contents:
Makey Makey Board, USB Cable, 7 Alligator Clips, 6 Connector Wires, Instructions with Visual Project Start Guide, Online Documentation, and 20 Color Stickers. Be stoked! The Giftable Collector’s Edition (available in drop down menu) also comes with collector’s tin and in a large retail box.

Why present day is the best time to be alive

Based on this article from the BBC It feels like it’s been a bad couple of years, but scientific and societal strides forward in recent decades have transformed global living standards.

And this video with Steven Pinker on The Cobert Report. Steven Pinker believes the world is increasingly nonviolent and that this may be the most peaceful time in human existence.

 

Or how about in this New York Times article

 President Obama noted: “The world is less violent than it has ever been.” It might seem difficult to reconcile this sentiment with daily horrors in the Middle East, terrorist attacks and other media-hyped doom and gloom. But he’s right: Though violent conflicts still happen around the world, the broad trend lines are all in the right direction.

Take a look at this infographic by phys.org noting everything we are currently fretting about.

So what gives? It feels more chaotic than ever, more violent and most disjointed. Could it be that the real problem is that we aren’t worse off locally or globally but we just aren’t thinking for ourselves? what if we close the newspapers and magazines, turn off the TV, our social media accounts, and the radio? Not as a reactive measure but as a way to measure our own lives. If we were to remove all the data points that are input into our lives and only worked with our experiences how would we answer the following questions?

Have you or someone you love been a victim of violence?

Do you know (personally) a child that has been abducted?

Have you been cyberbullied? Were you ever bullied as a child?

Have you been a victim of a crime or a theft?

Could it be that with a 24-hour news cycle seven days a week we just look for more things to talk about and those things tend to sway towards the negative? What if we made a conscious choice to tune it all out and just look at our lives and our own experiences.  What if we used our own lense to determine our level of safety and security, based not on what we are told but based on what we see, hear and experience ourselves. It’s time to stop listening, stop being scared and take our lives back and leave the fear behind. Do your own homework, research this topic – things just are not as bad as we want them to seem. Ask yourself why are citizens living so fearfully in this day and age? Could it be by design? Fearful societies watch over each other, they behave and they report. Is this the future we all want?

 

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Educating with nature

At Tiny Trees school in Seattle education through interaction with nature is the name of the game.  I first heard about this place on an NPR story. I was so impressed that I had to investigate their activities. They have really figured out how to get kids outside. Their model should be used nationwide.

 

Check out their methods at TINY TREES

Here is what they have to say:

We help children learn to read, succeed at math and explore the wild where they receive both a world class science education and a gleefully muddy childhood: one full of play, exploration and wonder in the great outdoors.

Our mission is to use outdoor classrooms to make a quality education in reading, math and science affordable for families and to give children a joyful, nature rich childhood – one full of play, exploration and wonder.

Our vision is to create a community where all children have access to high quality education and develop the social, emotional and academic skills needed to thrive in school and life.

1977 Internet

As the internet of things creeps ever closer to an A.I. take over I am compelled to pause and think about where we are at with the internet. Our days begin and end with connecting online but have we given much thought to how the internet now connects all things and if all things are connected what do have left that we control in our lives? I pause and look back at this site map of the original internet of 1977.  Forty plus years later we have come a long way but is it for the best?