The above video of then 8th grader Michael Koehler from Pennsylvania explaining Bernoulli’s Principle was my first introduction to the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students. At that time, in 2008, the students were asked to explain scientific principles and Michael was a finalist for his submission, moving on to the in person competition. I was charmed by his presentation and shared it originally on my first incarnation of Joanne Loves Science.
Does the world of engineering excite you? Are you able to create an inspiring 1-2 minute video about one of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges? If so, consider entering the Engineering For You 2 Video Contest for a chance to win $25,000!
I’ve been chomping at the bit for months to see The Imitation Game. It arrived in larger cities well before it appeared here in central Illinois, even being postponed further because the theaters bumped it to show The Interview. Theaters disappoint me with their skewed priorities!
You may have heard the buzz around this movie about British mathematician Alan Turing as played superbly by Benedict Cumberbatch, which is based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film “The Imitation Game”. As a piece of filmmaking, this movie is absolutely spectacular. The elements of the movie– the filming, directing, editing, acting, clothing, the music– all worked together to create a seamless film that engages you from start to finish. I highly recommend going to watch it! Sure, it has mathematicians and computers and no gratuitous sex or violence, but it won’t leave you bored, I promise. It is certain to win some of the awards at upcoming ceremonies.
My super short synopsis: a group of mathematicians are recruited to break a code that the Germans were producing in World War II using their Enigma machine. The code would change daily which made figuring it out each day an impossible chore. Alan Turing wanted to build a machine that would be able to break the code faster, which he and his team ultimately did, resulting in the war shortening by about two years. The movie isn’t perfect, as I doubt very many historically base ones are. One of my favorite places to check up on movies is History vs. Hollywood, which does a level-headed analysis of comparing movies with the historical facts. They have analyzed the facts in The Imitation Game, so I won’t spend time nitpicking the movie in that regards here. There are also numerous articles about the perceived shortcomings of the film on the internet if that interests you, too.
Since I watch movies through my science worldview filter, let’s take a look at my very subjective sense of the film. I made a handy flask rating system for a quick tl;dr.
2 years ago • Books, Engineering, psivid, Science, STEM • Tags: Academy Awards, Alan Turing, Benedict Cumberbatch, Enigma, Film, flasks, Golden Globes, Kiera Knightly, mathematician, mathematics, movie, Oscars, The Imitation Game, The Innovators, Turing Machine, Walter Isaacson
…is greater than the science known by liberal artists.”
This is a direct quote from Neil Degrasse Tyson in a talk given at the World Science Festival in 2010. (Video upload by Kristopher Hite) That quote starts at 4:39, but the entire video is worth watching.
Joe Hanson, who authors the It’s OK to be Smart blog, shared an article from The Washington Post titled, We’re way too obsessed with pushing science and math on our kids. The author claims that our insistence that we focus on STEM topics means we will forego other fields of study, particularly the liberal arts. Liberal arts and science are not mutually exclusive, in fact, many colleges and universities have Liberal Arts and Science designated schools.
2 years ago • Engineering, Science, Science Literacy, STEM, Video • Tags: common core, Huffpost Live, Liberal Arts, literacy, literature, music, Neil Degrasse Tyson, reading, science, science literacy, STEAM, STEM, video, World Science Festival
What you see here is a screenshot from a short embedded tutorial that demonstrates the depths to which the different wavelengths of light penetrate the skin. It is a part of L’Oreal’s Skin Science page, a very extensive resource that will help you learn much about your skin and the science L’Oreal does for R&D of their products.
To view this tutorial, you will need to go to this page and click on the image. A pop-up will appear that will slowly demonstrate wavelength penetrating the skin. Helpful information to keep your skin safe and young looking for years to come.
2 years ago • Beauty, Beauty-others, Engineering, Science, STEM • Tags: Infrared, L'Oreal, skin, spectrum, Sun, sun's rays, UV, UVA, UVB, video, visible, wavelength, Women in STEM, xeroderma pigmentosum
I posted this originally at Scientific American on December 10, 2014.
Women in the public eye are constantly scrutinized for what they wear, whether it be a politician, a Hollywood starlet or even a scientist at the Nobel Prize ceremony. The male Nobel Prize recipients have it relatively easy, at least wardrobe-wise. They put on their tie and tails and they are good to go, but women have a few more decisions to make regarding color, style, accessories, appropriateness for the venue and so forth.
2 years ago • Engineering, Fashion, STEM, Video, Women in STEM • Tags: dress, Engineering, fashion, io9, Joanne Manaster, Matthew Hubble, May Britt Moser, NBC science news, neurons, neuroscience, Nobel Awards Ceremony, Nobel Prize, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014, The Mary Sue
The essence behind what Angela has to say is backed by some research. In June 2008, a report was released by the National Academy of Engineering, called “Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering,” on the best way to convince young people to go into engineering. The message? Tell them that they will make a difference. The four most effective statements they tested were:
–Engineers make a world of difference.
–Engineers are creative problem-solvers.
–Engineers help shape the future.
–Engineering is essential to our health, happiness, and safety.
This article was originally posted at Scientific American
Last summer, I attended a new media professionals workshop at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Colorado to learn more about the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission which launched last November. This orbiter is specially equipped to discover “What happened to the atmosphere of Mars?” The answers can begin to be answered once the MAVEN maneuvers into Mars orbit tonight.
3 years ago • Engineering, Space, Video • Tags: Chris Impey, Dreams of Other Worlds, Google Hangout on Air, Joanne Manaster, LASP, Mars, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, MAVEN, NASA, Nick Schneider, science, video
3 years ago • Blog, Engineering, Science, STEM, Video, Women in STEM • Tags: CERN, documentary, Google Hangout on Air, interview, Joanne Manaster, LHC, Monica Dunford, movie, Particle Fever, particle physics, physics, STEM, video, Women in STEM
The National Science Teachers Association and Joanne Manaster (STEM advocate, and Scientific American blogger) proudly Present the 2014 NSTA STEM Forum and Expo Keynote Speaker Ainissa Ramirez in a Google Hangout on Air.
Ainissa Ramirez, materials scientists, STEM advocate and author joined me for an enjoyable Google Hangout on Air to talk about inspiring kids for STEM and how science teachers can help!
3 years ago • Engineering, Science, STEM, Video, Women in STEM • Tags: Ainissa Ramirez, Engineering, Google Hangout on Air, Joanne Manaster, Material Marvels, material science, Newton's Football, NSTA, science, Science Xplained, video, Women in STEM