STEMulate Learning and the World Community Grid

The STEMulate Learning project http://bit.ly/vkJGQNcame from very successful workshops I called “Scrap-Heap Supercomputing” (images: http://bit.ly/qJr1rF). These generated a lot of student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects around three components:
1) Supercomputing power from combining PCs
2) Multi-screen visualization systems
3) Visible work on global projects of value

The last item came from participation in the World Community Grid (WCG), which is a volunteer open-sourced project based on the BOINC client made famous in the SETI@home and FOLDING@home projects.

The WCG (http://bit.ly/r80wbI) combines the power of many computers when idle and applies this towards specific projects identified as being critical to the world through group selection. Current projects include developing and researching solutions for:
* Treatments for Malaria
* Treatments for Leishmaniasis
* Low-cost filters for clean water treatment
* Efficient clean energy production and storage
* Treatments for Dengue Fever
* Treatments for Muscular Dystrophy
* Treatments for Childhood Cancer
* Protein-based treatments for Cancer
* Protein studies of human pathogens
* Treatments for AIDS

Each team gets to choose which of the projects (or all of them) their computers will support. When I mentioned cures for childhood diseases and cancer, those were among the projects with the greatest interest during the “Scrap-Heap” workshops, together with clean water and clean energy studies.

I am trying to raise at least $3,800 for the first two nodes I will install in a local school, with a target goal of $20,000 for a full learning lab with automated self-reporting for remote student sharing and interaction with the base school. I am offering a number of naming and advertising options for donors.

What is most important is that students develop long-term interest in the critical areas needed for future innovation and global economic development while still young enough to apply that spark of early creativity – and immediate global good is done starting with the first node added to the WGC as part of this project.

This is a Crowdsourced funding effort through the #SciFund Challenge to raise monies for Crowdsourced technologies providing supercomputing for Crowdsourced benefits of a global nature. Empire Avenue seemed the perfect platform to spread the word – so share this message in part of whole as often and as widely as possible, as I have only 30 days remaining before the Challenge ends and media coverage winds down! Most funding to date has been for less than a cup of cappuccino, but this can add up with a broader audience!

An old Ethiopian Proverb says that “A spider’s web can tie up an elephant when woven together with other threads.” A few minutes time and a cup of coffee are all that I ask people to consider for their thread, or a cast out to their contacts in turn.

Come take a look: http://bit.ly/vkJGQN

2 thoughts on “STEMulate Learning and the World Community Grid

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