It's Collaborative, It's Creative, It's Critical Thinking
It’s a classroom unlike any other you’ve ever been in. A space filled with the latest design software, advanced materials and cutting-edge equipment. It’s a place that's buzzing with project-based assignments, like programming robotics and analyzing DNA samples. Where facts and figures are turned into ingenuity and inventiveness. Where the four walls of the classroom open up and lead to real-world challenges and opportunities – from energy and the environment, to housing and healthcare, to transportation and technology.
Welcome to the Innovation Zone by PLTW
PLTW students are doing amazing work and some have even received patents for their creations. Below is just a small sample of some pretty cool stuff that's being worked on in Innovation Zones across the country.
Asteroid Anchoring Concepts
Osceola Condulle, a McLoud High School/Gordon Cooper Technology Center student in McCloud, OK and NASA INSPIRE intern, developed an "asteroid anchoring" concept that may be used in a future NASA mission. Osceola designed, built and tested sub-scale anchoring techniques that would be able to find valuable natural resources on asteroids, assist planetary defense in diverting asteroids from Earth’s orbit and help us understand the origins of our solar system.
Biomedical Device for Individuals with Disabilities/Post-Surgery Patients
In her Engineering Design & Development class, Chantel Newman, a senior at Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee, developed a biomedical device to help individuals with disabilities and post-surgery patients stand up easily. Her project earned her a $10,000 Scholarship from Marquette University where she now studies biomedical engineering.
Doesn’t it seem odd that people living in cold weather climates aren’t able to take more advantage of the cool air outside to make refrigeration easier? Why isn’t this endless supply of cold air being used in refrigerators to reduce electricity use and lower energy costs? Those were the questions that an enterprising group of Engineering Design & Development students at Tesla Engineering Charter School in Appleton, WI asked before embarking on a research and development project to create a new kind of refrigerator, the Ecofridge, which earned them a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant.
Portable Water Purification
PLTW students who attend Gulliver Schools in Miami, Fla., delivered their latest humanitarian project – a portable water purification system – to residents of Haiti in July 2010. The Clean Water Project was a joint effort by PLTW Engineering and Biomedical Sciences students. Biomedical Sciences students identified the bacteria in the water that causes health problems and the Engineering students created the device to filter the water.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce produced a great series of fun, short videos that shows the connection between STEM and airplanes, video games and even music.
STEM is Cool
This video from SAS Software shows you where your career may lead you (hint: it's a wide range of pretty cool options) if you focus on STEM in school.