Minecraft Development

Available Today! I am so buying this!

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MIP Robot

For Christmas a MIP descended upon our house. For the price I was really hoping it would have some educational properties and maybe it does. So far I haven’t been able to justify the cost. The MIP is a robot that you can control with hand gestures or your phone.

We got the white one, but I’m linking the black here. The MIP has modes that can be chosen – everything from Roam to Dance (even a battle mode if you have two). So far my son has taken my phone and made ours wander around following his finger, he has figured out the hand gestures for the few times I took my phone back, and I have made it dance. A friend visiting figured out the battle mode and making it pretend to shoot at people with fake sounds (yes that caused lots of children to scream in our house).

It comes with a tray to carry small objects (stack mode). It does have a really cool ability to balance on it’s two wheels making it almost bipedal (biwheelal?)

BUT, for the price interest in our house was very short lived and I still need to find the educational value….

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Math is Tough Barbie strikes again?

Yep I’m pretty upset over the Barbie that has raised a new uproar. Luckily girls are striking back with Feminist Hacker Barbie.  I should mention that I’m not a strong feminist, being that I’m a WAHM that spends most of my time running kids from here to there and taking care of my kids to the exclusion of my career.

I was a computer programmer though for 20+ years and I have taught classes, both college level and to kids on programming and even game design.  (The coding part!)  I’ll be one of the first to say that the design part isn’t my strongest skill, but I LOVE coding. So when I see this it bothers me. My husband has pointed out that there aren’t many girls taking science classes. What’s interesting is that computer programming was originally for girls because of the typing. An article by Stanford pointed out that as late as the 1960s it was thought to be the ideal career choice for women.  To quote

As computer scientist Dr. Grace Hopper told a reporter, programming was “just like planning a dinner. You have to plan ahead and schedule everything so that it’s ready when you need it…. Women are ‘naturals’ at computer programming.” James Adams, the director of education for the Association for Computing Machinery, agreed: “I don’t know of any other field, outside of teaching, where there’s as much opportunity for a woman.” – See more at: http://gender.stanford.edu/news/2011/researcher-reveals-how-%E2%80%9Ccomputer-geeks%E2%80%9D-replaced-%E2%80%9Ccomputergirls%E2%80%9D#sthash.5vGfOZag.dpuf
I personally LOVE computer programming and am flabbergasted that Barbie has to get her friends (guy friends) to help make her design into  actual computer code!   I love that my son’s share my love for computers, but if I had a daughter I would expect her to be just as excited by programming.
What can we do to change these stereotypes?  What happened that changed it to a male field in the first place?
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KY FLL Events!

The first events are appoaching!

Event Sub-type Event Name Event Venue Country State/Province City Date(s)sort descending
Qualifying Event WKU FLL Qualifier Tournament Knicely Conference Center – WKU South Campus US KY Bowling Green 22-Nov-2014
Qualifying Event Southeast Kentucky Regional Qualifier East Perry Elementary School US KY Hazard 22-Nov-2014
Qualifying Event Engineers of Tomorrow KY FLL State Regional Qualifier Bullitt East High School US KY Mount Washington 06-Dec-2014
Qualifying Event Northern Kentucky Regional FIRST® LEGO League Robotics Tournament and Jr. FIRST® LEGO League Engineering Expo Northern Kentucky University US KY Highland Heights 06-Dec-2014
Qualifying Event Owensboro Regional FLL Tournament Advanced Technology Center on Owensboro Community and Technical College Main Campus US KY Owensboro 06-Dec-2014
Qualifying Event UK FIRST Lego League Regional Tournament UK Student Center Ballroom US KY Lexington 06-Dec-2014
Qualifying Event Glasgow FLL Regional Tournament Glasgow Middle School US KY Glasgow 13-Dec-2014
Qualifying Event West Kentucky FLL Regional Qualifier West Kentucky Community & Technical College- Emerging Technology Center US KY Paducah 13-Dec-2014
Qualifying Event Ashland FLL Regional Qualifier Tournament Ashland Community & Technical College – Technology Drive Campus US KY Grayson 13-Dec-2014
Championship Tournament Kentucky State Championship Tournament Northern Kentucky University US KY Highland Heights 07-Feb-2015
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Girls in Science (CSC offerings)

I just noticed the program offerings from Carnegie Science Center making the rounds on social media:

CSC program offering

I’ve heard lots of thoughts on this, from girls just aren’t interested in science to the leaders aren’t doing enough.  I do know anecdotally that most of my friends are interested in science, went on to pursue degrees in science and would have jumped at the chance to take the boy classes. They also: barely wear makeup, sign their kids up for enrichment when they can and try to help other kids be more involved. So I have no answer as far as the general populace.

In a past life I headed up a robotics team.  Our first team was 2 girls and 3 boys.  Not equal, but it was an odd number.  That being said my son was one of the boys so if you take him out of the equation the kids were equal as far as gender. Those kids are now 21 and they were 8 at the time, so it’s been a long time!  They have each went on to college and are doing great.  I know I didn’t make an effort to get girls at the time, everything just fell into place.

I have no solutions, but I do know something has to be done. As you look at the makeup of science classes in current colleges they are overwhelming male.  How do you change a stereotype – especially when barbie is there to remind us that ‘Math is Tough’.  Any suggestions?

 

Carnegie Science Center defends their decision – http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/10/07/Science-center-doesn-t-sparkle-in-girls-scouting-offerings-critics-say/stories/201410070092

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