WIG Hovertrain: Innovation Takes Time

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I wanted to share my idea for a form of rapid transportation that uses magnets for propulsion and the wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) for suspension above a track. Various “hovertrain” ideas using air suspension have been examined since before I was born, but are still being explored today as well. Continue reading

During the 30-day #SciFund Challenge

#SciFund Challange 2014 Logo

During the 30-day #SciFund Challenge crowdfunding effort, the STEMulate Learning workshops will continue as planned even as we seek crowd support to add a new resource to our Summer program – the OpenROV robot. Continue reading

Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge

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Our local Boy Scouts took the weekend to learn about disabiling conditions, accomodations and assistive aids in their local area, and to speak with a fellow young man about his quality of life living with spinal muscular atrophy as they worked on their Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge. Continue reading

Digging for tech “gold” in the Scrap-heap

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Many times, all that is needed is a trip to the scrap heap to find many opportunities for learning and further exploration of STEM subjects like Computer Science and programming. Whenever you need to find ways to excite young learners, you do not need to rely on expensive pre-prepared lessons and kits, just take a look at your local scrap-heap (using proper security measures) for inspiration! Continue reading

Electronics Merit Badge Classes

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Teaching Electronics Merit Badge courses for Boy Scouts allows the exploration of mathematics and project management while encouraging young learner engagement and interest in STEM subject areas without requiring a costly equipment setup expense. Continue reading

Space Exploration Merit Badges

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The Texas A&M University Students Serving Scouting group coordinated a weekend of learning and fun for young learners attempting the BSA’s Space Exploration Merit Badge! Continue reading

SOLID Learning Electronics – Microcontroller Options

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Arduinos have been selected by educators as the standard microcontroller for SOLID Learning designs due to the support community, availability, cost and ease of use. Arduinos will be supported by Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Linux cards for special purposes. Continue reading

Learning SCRATCH on the Raspberry Pi

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Teaching programming using MIT’s Scratch is easy for young students and adults alike. Scratch on Raspberry Pi is inexpensive and flexible for software and hardware controls, leveraging software control over the RasPi GPIO interface pins. Continue reading

Underwater Solar Panel Dive Test Results

Icon of the Conceptual rendering of an Artificial Kelp photovoltaic (PV) solar "Forest'

Two divers were able to test the Solar Seaweed design in experiments conducted in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Corpus Christie, Texas. The design proved that submerged biomimetic photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can be operated underwater in shallow water deployments, with an interesting test result showing that near-surface panels capture light reflected from surface waves even when facing away from the sun. Additional tests will be needed, but this experiment proves the concept works. Continue reading

Electronics Merit Badge Workshop with Microprocessors

BSA Electronics Merit Badge Icon

During an Electronics Merit Badge workshop, I used Atmel ATTiny85 microprocessors in place of the 555 timer circuit to reduce complexity and enhance participant engagement through hidden coded messages. Continue reading