The importance of tech education for kids (The 3:59, Ep. 359 extended edition)
When I was little I did not like science.
I disliked it very much.
But then I was like, as I'm growing, I see how it's all around and how important it is to our society.
There are so many career opportunities that are available, and not neccesarily students who are prepared to take on those jobs.
MOUSE is a youth development organization.
We're working to empower all students and the educators who support them to create with technology and make meaningful change in our world.
Students here today are part of the launch of our [UNKNOWN] tech program, which is really an exploration of textiles and electronics.
Mouse [UNKNOWN] technology.
It's a wonderful program.
It's a great way for the girls to really get the idea of how to integrate electronics, circuitry, computer science, in a way that's very relatable, very easy to understand.
A great way to get the girls to work together on a project.
We were making fabric circuits so we had a piece of filament and
And then a conductive piece of medal in the line, and we had LED lights.
They can see the actual technology before them and be able to feel it and touch it and engage with it.
The whole concept is really complicated, but then actually doing it was really really easy.
And it was fun.
What we were doing today with all the curcits I felt so empowered making the electricity go where I want it go.
Lighting all these things it just felt awesome.
No one could ever think that art and science would come together and do something cool.
Mouse is trying to reach every young person that we can.
Here at St.
Joseph High School it's part of the mission of the school that children have access, and digital equity.
Now [UNKNOWN] technology allows that to happen.
I believe that whatever was done here today is just a spark.
It's turning on a lightbulb, so to speak, in their minds that technology's cool.
I can do just about anything with it.
Hey and welcome back everybody, it's The 3:59, 3:59.
I'm BVG still and we are rejoined by Roger Cheng along with Joan Solsman and we'd like to welcome in Marc Lesser.
We have a guest, we have a real special guest.
A very special guest.
Thank you very much.
Whoa, it's an accomplishment.
So we marked every single day that Mouse, your organization, has been around, it's been about 21 years.
It's STEM so there's mathematics involved, can you tell me how many Days that is.
Of course I can.
This is happening.
I have no idea.
As you saw in the intro video, mouse.org specializes in,
STEM education for children.
Tell me a little bit about the organization?
How long, I mean you said you're celebrating your ten year anniversary very soon.
Of course I get my stats wrong.
An event of ours-
[LAUGH] Yeah 20 years.
We're actually 21 this year.
Founded here in New York.
We're now a national organization, still a learning organization that's committed to making sure that everybody has the potential and opportunity of creative technologies.
The ten year anniversary is for an event that I've co-founded with some colleagues of mine called Emoticon, which is New York City's biggest youth technology and media festival.
Young people from all five boroughs come out to demo Tech and media that they've built with social purpose so it's all about them designing solutions to respond to the issues and problems that they see in the world around them it's a pretty powerful day.
And when's the next emoticon coming?
Emoticon is June 16th.
Around the corner.
And you should check us out at emoticon.org, it's a great event.
And obviously I'm biased but I am a believer.
I challenge you to come and not be a believer.
All right, all right.
So yeah, tell me a little bit more about how you interact with students, how the program actually works.
And how STEM gets into the lives of these kids.
Yeah, so I feel like we're close now-
Because we're in front of mics and thousands of people, so.
So I feel like it's time to share.
My awful secret is I hate the acronym STEM.
It's the truth.
Mouse is really focused on technology engineering and design.
And we're focused on the future of how technologies work to produce creative outputs, right, and think about solving problems and challenges of our time.
In creative ways, so we see this reflected all the time in higher education, but we're not seeing it in K-12 enough, although a lot of educators very much believe in it and know it's the right place.
So we talk about computer science education, we might talk about computer education, but we're not yet talking about how the art teacher
And the tech teacher are working together to be a sort of multidisciplinary interdisciplinary thing what mouse does is we support educators of all kinds people tend to think in education of of teachers in classrooms who are so so important there's also a huge field of professionals out there
In youth development, in after school education, in spaces where, in a lot of cities kids are spending 80% or more of their waking hours outside of the classroom.
So we have to, when we're thinking about education, we need to think about learning and where it's happening in all contexts.
And what Mouse is Is a network.
When a group of schools sign up, you can be single site, but a group of schools sign up.
They have access to a huge library of technology, engineering, and design content that helps get young people started right away.
If you don't have A work bench at home or a garage of your own or the places where making happens.
Mouse is sort of out of the box way to get started.
And in an hour you can be Lighting, setting up your first circuits.
You can be programming your first lines of code, you can be designing your first graphics.
So, we're content, but we're also working to support educators of all kinds through training.
We do lots of local events we just described Emoticon, so, In education, you hear this word ecosystem a lot, which is kind of a sciencey word that has been appropriated.
It's a great word because it points to the importance of no sorta one siloed solution for our challenges in education, and that's what Mouse does, is try to come in and be An integral part of the ecosystem that can offer what we think of as being the most forward thinking in stem education.
So you talked before, you mentioned [UNKNOWN].
What are the ages that [UNKNOWN] focuses on, and why is that age important for developing people that think of technology for good?
So every age is important.
And, very seriously, I have three young kids and my three year old is certainly savvy as a user of technology.
The most important thing, I think, for all of us to be thinking about, that Mouse is advocating for, is that Your kids are inevitably going to develop through a world that is high tech.
They can either be consumers or they can be producers of technologies and the world around them that is increasingly digital.
We focus at grades five through 12, and the reason for that is as a small non-profit, especially in the curriculum development space, we need to focus resources on reading levels, especially that we can generalize out to as many grades as possible.
When you stick to a middle school reading level You tend to cast a fairly wide net.
So that's where we are.
That said, we're always working on growth and evolution and figuring out how do we build the kinds of partnerships with elementary schools and elementary educators to make sure that we're a part of a young person's trajectory from even younger ages.
Just, before we go on, Brian, are there any questions or any comments from [CROSSTALK]
Not quite yet, still fishing through.
All right, cool.
So I'm just curious, I know you're headquartered in New York.
[INAUDIBLE] a nation wide organization.
Do you have events elsewhere around the nation or like, where
Give me a sense of what the reach is for mouse?
So, we're about, anywhere, depending on grands in a year.
We tend to be between 350 and 400 sites.
What we call sites.
Typically that uses school infrastructure.
So, in a lot of cases the schools that are running our programs as elective This and other things.
A lot of times it's boys and girls clubs after school programs, libraries maybe museum has a micro space.
So for a lot fo this organziatios they kind of look to mouse server as a turn key operation that's it?
Yeah a turn key operation the way to get started but also a way to hopefully Take drop in experiences, what we call drop in experiences in a sort of after school setting or even in a school setting kind of club experience, we were probably all are part of the AV club at one time.
I was like that,
I was not, but I could tell Brian like naughty.
I never left.
So lucky man.
So it's all different context, but reallty where we look to help on that early experience and making sure that young people have stepping stones
Toward, when you think of kinda mastery in K12, people think of [UNKNOWN] advanced placement.
Part of the problem with technology education right now is that we don��t really have great on-ramps to advanced placement.
It��s like, if you��re extremelly inclined and talented in math and science You might take a computer science class and like it and go do AP.
You're much more likely to do those things if you have a parent or relative at home who works for Microsoft or is a programmer who has exposed you to the importance there.
If we're a young person For most of the schools that we serve, and you don't have an engineer that you're looking at to see the importance of even elevating to an advanced placement.
It's really hard to not just, To have the supported pathway to go there, but to also have the motivation.
We want to be what we can see, so that's what we try to do.
Let me ask you about being a 21 year program.
I want to ask you about your alumni network and how that's important to once you have students that are interested in tech and are helping them to learn, And then they have to go further and your ambition for them is to go further.
But we do see that there are hurdles for people that are even interested in getting educated and staying educated pursuing that as a degree.
Taking that past degree even into the workforce, can you talk to us a little bit about how your alumni network Fits into the long trajectory of helping kids become adults that are involved in
So this is such a juicy topic.
And nationally we're kind of We almost are fetishizing the idea of workforce development and career development.
And for lots of good reasons, but also in ways that can be detrimental to the process.
Our Her alumni network, when we look at the data in who succeeds in work and in life, dare I say that happiness is as important as a good job.
It's all about networks, social networks.
So when you join a program like ours, or an AV Club Or whatever is going on for you locally.
You're sort of exponentially more likely to continue down a road, a sort of a pathway toward an undergraduate degree and then a career in the area if you actually have those supports around you, So, if Parents don't need to be necessarily professionals in the area you're going into obviously.
But if they have some of the language it's extremely helpful.
If you have friends who are speaking the language and sort of getting what the value is and helping you stay motivated as wanting to sort of elevate to that identity, that's a huge help so our alumni network Is all of that.
Sometimes we have alarm who live programs in states where we might not have as sort of high touch and not realising untill much later than they have a network of these alarm who have come through programs like ours At our 20th anniversary.
We had a birthday last year, we had a great party, and one of the sort of celebrated guest there was an alumni of ours who came through Chicago public schools who is now doing some amazing things.
He's a young entrepreneur in tech.
And we met through a Young Entrepreneurs Network up at Columbia University.
He bumped into one of our staff and rekindled this excitement and connection to his experience at [UNKNOWN].
And really, Really credited those early experiences, as we all do, with sort of who he has become and, or being a really critical piece of that.
And so, we're delighted when we hear those stories.
I get the great fortune of when I'm out at a software Company or a tech and media company, and I bump into alum who are on the floor who are like hey-
Yeah, I came out of one of your schools in the Bronx or in Brooklyn, check it out, it's so exciting.
We do have a question coming in.
I'd like to I have a few of my own shortly.
But first and foremost, Forever Dunkley, awesome name by the way.
Does Mouse do any work with First Robotics?
First Robotics are friends, they're a wonderful sort of
Cousin in our space.
We don't do any work directly with them.
But the non-profit technology engineering space is a fairly small one.
So I'm trying to think of an analagous environment.
Maybe reporters do this.
Where no matter what,
Space you're writing for or you have a network of professionals who you're calling on and looking to sort of check things, that kind of thing.
First are those sort of colleagues to us, and they run a great program here in the Tri-State, but we don't do regular programming with them.
I am just so curious about this because I didn't have opportunities like this growing up myself.
And being a bit of a tech geeky kid, go figure, I had the basics.
I had science and technology classes.
In curriculum at school, I had shop class, I got into work with internship programs at local media companies.
And then we had some trade programs off campus offered to us as students.
This is so cool, I'm just like I don't know how I even want to phrase this, how can I go back in time and participate?
Well that's a great segway for how can people, you know that aren't students, like your demographic that you're targeting.
How can people that are, get involved?
How can they help either a mouse or help the The cause that you're working towards.
Well there are two things.
Everyone, every young professional, I wanna encourage, I'd like to think of myself as a young professional.
Has the choice to start early with philanthropy and thinking about giving back to causes,
They way you just described this work that's where great philanthropy comes from.
It's a need that you identified as a young person or you realized wasn't there now that you're an adult and going and tapping that passion and supporting it.
So every dollar matters, so we are always looking for financial support.
And then beyond checks.
It's really important to get involved and everyone has some opportunity to become a youth development professional.
Maybe it's not their day job but there is always an opportunity To be with young people modeling making sure that they are getting access to the kinds of skills and dispositions that you have as a professional.
The New York City Department of Education has terrific mentoring opportunities.
There are hundreds of nonprofits in the tri-state area if you are interested if you are based in the New York area.
That you can access and use as a conduit to.
But the thing that I would encourage is, find ways, even if you're not making a daily commitment to giving back, and working on the stem equity issue in the country which is serious and everybody should care a lot about.
Even if you're not working on it daily, find a way that you can
Sorry, just STEM [UNKNOWN] issue, do you mean just the lack of STEM education available to a wide variety of people?
How much time
How many episodes.
I mean, if you could break it down in thirty seconds to me.
Three hours [UNKNOWN]
It's a complicated topic, what's the elevator pitch for
For this STEM equity you're talking about.
Well, here's the thing is, we have a huge gap in who gets to participate in technology.
And engineering in this country.
When you walk into
The major tech companies, the major media companies, those floors of young professionals.
And they're mostly open offices so it's an easy way to do a quick poll
Of who's getting to participate.
That means who designs the media, who does the reporting, who creates the software.
And who hires more people.
Who make the robots.
Who hires more people.
The neighborhoods that we represent and all of us in some ways represent are not at the table and so we talked about the same equity Mouse is talking about closing the divide between who has the opportunity to see technology as crayons and glue sticks and who doesn't.
It's a great Segway because I wanted to bring up the broader issue of diversity in tech
It's become more of a vocal issue over the last few years, again cuz companies like Google, Facebook all offer transparency reports where they talk about the breakdown.
I don't think we've seen a lot of progress beyond more transparency I guess, they're just more transparent about not being diverse.
But I'm just curious how you link what you guys are doing to sort of that ultimate solution of getting a more diverse population in the tech world.
I will say this to the credit of Google specifically
And I know some others are on top of it.
There has been more research.
Research is important.
And we get a lot from that.
I would encourage anybody who's interested in some of the research that Google has done to use any search engine you like.
[LAUGH] To go and find Google and STEM equity, those three things will pull up some of the recent reports that they've done.
That said, when these major companies wanna move, you know, I'm like in my silicon valley jargon.
Wanna move on an opportunity
They will often throw you know like a billion dollars at an acquisition or at a problem it's not a big deal not a big move right we have not seen that kind of movement there's a lot of lip service to some equity there's more research which is good but but not adequate
And so we wanna see a major investment.
And we also wanna see an interest in the full trajectory that it takes to build a culture where, I hate the word pipeline, it tends to be More work oriented then I think we want to be about this issue.
I think we want to be more holistic about this and really think about the world we want to live in in 10 years in 15 years that our kids are going to live in who's working on the problems of our time who's building with our communities are going to look like these are the kinds of things that are at stake and so to
To come back to your question about the things that we're doing as it relates to stem equity.
Everybody needs a first opportunity and an intermediate opportunity to see themselves as belonging to those pathways.
To being part of solutions, being producers of content and things in the world around them
and having an identity, you don't have to be a technologist or an engineer to be a part of our digital world in ten years.
Everyone is going to be a part of it.
So we want to make sure that at as young an age as possible, when we talk about literacies, we typically are talking about Decoding text, we're also talking about coding, and developing ourselves.
So, we wanna look at the full range of literacy that it takes for 10 and 15 years out, for us to have generations that know how to code and decode in what it's just a, Where digital is so ubiquitous that we're not, we're no longer, sort of distinguishing it from every other part of our everyday lives.
We're almost out of time, but I did wanna ask, I mean, maybe it's from Emoticon or one of various [UNKNOWN].
Any projects that kind of stick out in your mind that blew you away, like from the Emoticon, like just random like Whatever creation that you saw that just sort of blew you away like wow, this is amazing, this is what this program's about.
Yeah, I think that what, Emoticon is a great example because I think that one of the mistakes that we all make, there is this
There's a great.
You know, people talk about this, the idea of a quarter life crisis, right?
There's something real about the fact that you hit a certain age and you forget so quickly what it was like to be a teen or.
And what things were important to you?
We make the mistake so early in adulthood of thinking that young people are not naturally activists and don't naturally care and think about the world around them.
There is a mistake about millennial's that there's passivity and.
When in fact, it is so opposite and if our institutions are beating activism out of young people, then we need to think again about what the institutions look like and what the pathways look like to help them express their activism.
A great example We have a program in New York that we run called Design League.
It's a year long.
It's anywhere from 100 to 120 hours young people spend with us after school to learn the human centered design process.
They all have.
Come in with some tech skills but not always are the kids who are ending up in AP Computer Science.
We put together teams the way they would look at Microsoft or Google, or NASA, so that people are coming with different disciplines and different interests.
and halfway through the year, we pair them with user.
We work with a great organization called Adapt, which is formerly United Cerebral Palsy.
They work alongside an end user to develop solutions for people living with Cerebral Palsy
To an every day problem.
It might be getting a wheelchair up onto a sidewalk.
It might be with limited mobility dipping a small paintbrush into a palette of paint.
It might be a young person who loves video games and video game culture but, Joy sticks are not being developed to fit their mobility.
So you see a lot of projects in [UNKNOWN] that young people are working on accessibility issue.
[CROSSTALK] These are the kinds of things that blow your mind and Not because these young people are so extraordinary, which they are but what we're doing is lifting up something that's already there.
And one of the reasons that I invite people out to see it is just to remind them of that, remind them how much energy and how much, Natural activism there is.
All right, we're short on time.
Mark, you're sticking around.
I am here as long as [CROSSTALK].
Talking about [INAUDIBLE] .Jill, you're sticking around.
I'm sticking around.
I'm the only one who's leaving.
But we're gonna get, I think it's Ben that's coming back in, right?
Ben is gonna be coming back in.
Brian do you have a video to play me off or just awkwardly, let's awkwardly run it.
No everybody stick around
We've still got plenty more to go in the day and like you said we're swapping out guests right now, still talking mouse, talking VR when we come back.
So hang out and we will be Right back.
One hour down, 3 to go, it's the 3:59 podcast, episode 359, I'm still BBG, and we still have Joan, we still have Mark, and Ben's back.
Hey, I'm here!
Hey, [UNKNOWN], hey!
All right, so we're kicking off an hourlong segment specifically around future tech.
So Mark is here to talk a little bit about a variety of future tech, as it relates to Mouse, and hopefully also your personal experiences.
I think we're gonna touch a bit, especially, on VR and AR.
But just to give you a short break [LAUGH]
Because you talked a lot about [UNKNOWN] just now.
Joan, I wanted to start with you and ask you what are you most excited about as it relates to like VR and entertainment?
Well, one of the cool things about VR and entertainment right now is that people.
It's a brand-new format.
And so what we are seeing is a very accelerated learning curve where there are mile markers every year like Sundance is a good mile marker.
Where people that work in the entertainment and VR.
You can see just how much they've gotten better over the course of one year.
And I think talking about education with mouse.
It's interesting to see how in this entirely new format People are self-educating themselves.
And because it's a place where there aren't preestablished rules, it's a place where there is a lot of diversity.
And where you figure out how to tell a narrative in a different way.
Yeah, people are figuring out on their own on the fly, because that's what's required.
To me though, is this something that really tends to exist in the south
By world and the Sundance world or is it propagating out into the rest of the world?
Like, are other people experiencing this or are there still like most people don't know what VR and entertainment really is?
Accessibility and that's something that we can talk a lot about too with Mark is that You know there is accessibility to see these things.
We're talking, there's two kinds of accessibility.
Accessibility to see these projects as a consumer and then to be a participant in making these projects.
And it's such a new format that accessibility is hard.
Because these are expensive technologies And the technologies to produce them are expensive and also just being created.
So it makes it hard not only to see the results of people working in the VR and AR, but also being part of working in VR and AR.
Yeah, and you wanted to give you a chance to plug your show, and this is something you also talk about on your show.
Yeah, so No Such Thing is the podcast.
We cover digital learning of all kinds, and we have done everything really, from.
From learning networks to great cinema and video programs that happen in big urban education systems.
We have covered Covered a lot of I say we like a huge team.
But it's me the format of the show it's an interview show.
We typically spend about an hour or two or 20 minutes with a guest.
And typically when we covering subject one of the things that I like to do is rather than talk about what's good for young people Without them in the room, which is what typically happens.
I try to do episodes where I either bring in a co-host who is a young person who is working either through some of the program or an alum of our programs
I have met through the various networks that I work in.
So yeah, it's typically me and one or two other guests.
Typically I have a young person who can give us, if I'm talking to a non profit that's doing amazing things with film and video and young people, I will have an alarm and make sure that when I ask the question of
What at the end of the day is the one thing you hope every young person is walking away with?
I can turn to a young person and say what are you walking away with?
This isn't an area that I have personal experience with because my kids are too young now.
I have a five year old and two two year olds, but from your experience a Mouse, and maybe with your own kids.
I don't know how old they are, but, Do they get a lot of exposure to VR and AR?
Is this an area that they're really excited and interested in?
Or, do they not really know that much about it and don't have a lot of experience in?
They don't have a lot of experience there.
But it's an exciting area.
I've spent, I think, three episodes on AR and VR so far.
I think some of the most ineresting stuff that's happening There are two areas that I��m really excited about.
Museum learning, so anyone who can access the Museum of Natural History can get up there and do virtual programs with them where you��re sorta becoming a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Say Tyrannosaurus Rex.
An explorer in the context of the museum, and going to find different elements of the exhibit in AR.
So, we're starting to be able to access it Through kind of third spaces.
Which is exciting.
I think the most exciting space for AR and VR in education is in special education.
Just going back really quickly.
You say the Museum of Natural History, have you tried that experience and is it super cool?
I'm immediately like, yeah I would wanna try that.
They are super cool.
They still have the issue though of it's mixed, the reality is sort of mixed, and so you're still kind of tethered to a device in AR.
And with young people, with my own kids, so I have kids a similar age to yours.
There's just a shelf life to how far, how long they'll be interested while they're tethered to the thing.
And it's not to say that they're not still, they still want to play on the device, but for the game, they have a 20 to 40 minute window, and then
So trying to create deeper experiences.
I think are really, is really a difficult thing if you're not, if we're not further along on this sort of continuum towards immersion.
If we're not talking about headsets and full immersion in ways that are not just sort of walking around with a device.
But they are super cool and I would encourage you to go get them.
One of them
And I will remember it.
Before everything is done.
But you actually collect coins as you go and it's a great experience.
But they're pretty well invested up at AMNH, as an example.
And I know the network of museums and public spaces Nationally are one of the areas that are having a lot of conversation.
So you were also mentioning special education-
I��d love for you to touch on that as well.
When I talk to young people about the
The power of VR, it's actually always surprising to me that they're not that thrilled by it.
These experiences are typically somewhere.
Somewhere interesting for sure, and sometimes compeling in a game environment,
The think that young people that I talk about VR especially come back to is the empathy and compassion and being able to sort of walk in other people's shoes especially when we talk about AR & VR in the context of social purpose which is a thing
And I will plug, we are the sort of official curriculum provider for an organization based here in New York called Games for Change, which is an amazing organization that
Is now also focused on AR & VR and thinking about how we access those technologies for social good young people are really excited about empathy and compassion as a sort of as an end goal for AR & VR
And the place where, in education, we've most explicitly had that as a goal for a long time is in special education where social skills can sometimes be a deaf, you know, there can be a gap.
So when you think about somebody who has run a life skills curriculum, for example, for
20 or 30 years in the same way and then you think about what a virtual presence could do for.
And we've seen this a little bit in things like job training where you can do a virtual teller and have an experience and be sort of tested on how you react to things.
We see it in the military.
But in education, I think the place where that comes out in the most explicit way is in special ed and thinking about what it means for a young person to, in a safe way, be able to engage and interact with adults and other peers in ways that minimize the stress of having to
Try that out in real life.
That's really interesting.
So, yeah, I think that that's a place where if we're thinking about how K to 12 tends to sort of procure technologies, so the places where I think you're going to walk into a lab full of VR headsets is likely going to be,
The focused special education schools that know what the affordances of those spaces are for building life skills, understanding how humans interact-
Right, which is-
Creating new environments.
And it's also like a much higher calling for those types of technologies than gaming.
Not to take anything away from gaming.
We all love gaming.
Well, one of the interesting things is covering the VR.
Extensively is that one of its sort of cliches is people refer to VR as an empathy machine.
But it's always in the context of giving people who are fully-abled to have empathy for others.
Whether it be someone who isn't fully-abled or is differently-abled, or somebody who's from
Country, your economic status.
This is the first time that I've heard about the idea, these VRs to provide empathy for people who need to have social interaction.
In a way that's not as stressful.
That's really interesting.
Which gives it a lot more potential I think a lot of times on the podcast we talk about how
VR's this interesting thing that's way too expensive that most people don't actually get to experience.
And for me, personally, the experience, I kind of need to step away from it and I'm not that interested anymore after, 15-20 minutes, it's like
That head sec gets a little too hard after a while you just wanna like go do something else but as if I'm on my phone, I can waste little like an hour and a half without even thinking about it.
For some reasons I'll, I think that, that definitely provides a lot of interesting insights in terms of where it could potentially move to.
Think about too in the context of mental health.
Especially as haptics get better and you think about having a full bodied experience where you can address different kinds of spaces.
Different kinds of interactions that might cause higher levels of stress.
There are tons of uses, but I agree completely.
Space that you see the special ad as sort of an innovator is robotics as well.
Especially in the context of kids with autism, seeing use of Small, programmable robots to help young people have interactions that are a scaffold toward more social interaction.
So, it's a, it's the area of education that That is often the most innovative that is the least gets the least credit sometimes.>> Right.>> I also love to through it out to questions.
Anybody that wants to share their ARVR experiences we're gonna be talking about this topic also with Scott Styne after Mark so definatly through out any questions or comments that you have about what it's been like for you or how much you'd be able to experience it obviously Especially with the new iOS 11, there's a lot more AR experience out there.
So people will at least get to nibble on it and to test it out a little bit more in their lives.
Hey, my microphone.
Hey, we'd like to take a question from Dan McClane in the chat.
He's asking, is there really any conflict between advocates of STEM and Steam?
Steam is apparently adds art into it.
Is that right?
Correct, I literally just learned that.
I was reading the comments while I was-
I will speak for Mark, what Mark's talking about.
About the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation.
I, you know,
So to answer the question, I think to the extent that acronyms-
Acronyms are a thing that drives you to conflict as an individual.
Sure, I guess the conflict is in the narrative and in the story, and how we have it play out in practical terms in schools and after school programs and things.
Is there conflict to me personally?
No, and in fact, one of the things that I don't like about The acronym of stem is that as soon as we make an acronym out of a thing we limit it.
It's good to something.
And the future of things is not those subject areas in the circles that higher education puts them in 100 plus years ago.
The future of these things is multi and interdisciplinary Applications of those things, right?
So Steam, I guess I'd like better as an acronym because it includes more, but-
I can't wait for the acronym to get even longer though.
If we're gonna go from Stem to Steam, I don't-
I don't even know what that one means.
My God, I love that.
Colleen and I have
Have joked that we should add humanities and make it more of a Yiddish Steam.
Please, I am so onboard with that.
Just tell me where to send all of my money.
Yeah, I give to Steam.
I'm a huge adovate of steam.
You have to be eating matzah ball soup while writing the check.
Yes, from which there is also steam.
There's a lot of steam coming off the matzah ball soup.
I didn't do that on Purpose and thank you for that.
I'll participate in that.
I feel like we fixed everything.
I think so, that's true.
[CROSSTALK] That's what podcasts are for.
It's a good question.
I hope the thing that I hope STEAM does for people's thinking about these subjects is to reinvigorate our belief in and the importance of art to communicators.
If we try to realize the future of digital education In a successful way.
I think artists and art educators need to be not only at the table but very much a sort of driving force with us, so-
Nice, how are we on time by the way?
I should have had some sort of timer in front of me.
It's probably just about time for us to close it on this segment, and move on to the next one.
All right, Marc we're gonna see you again soon.
We're gonna talk about wearables, and we're gonna swap you out and have Scott Stein in here.
Give you a break from the hot sweaty room.
Can I just say for the record that my headphones are on straight?
Yeah, they were before.
And by the way, I wanna have this on the record, that people love your beard.
If you could tell them how long it took you to grow it.
I think they'd be really happy.
I shaved 3 days ago.
I shaved this morning.
Maybe I would got you a beer.
I'm not sure.
Mark Thank you very much.
We're going to have you again very, very shortly.
And swap out Scott's time to keep up the conversation on future tech VR and AR and I don't know, anything else Scott wants to talk about.
He goes all places.
So we will be right back.
One more thing real quick, we forgot, this is it folks.
Follow us on Facebook.>> That's okay.
Thank you for joining us, Facebook.
Thank you Facebook.
And if you wanna keep watching we're on YouTube, Livestream, and Periscope.
All right, thanks everybody.
We'll be back in just a second with Scott Stein and AR and VR, stick around.
Growing up I knew that creative people do art and I had to experience for myself.
That they're also here to solve challenging issues in the world.
They're needed to help guide young people through the pathways that lead them to their dreams.
My name is Marc Lesser, I'm the Senior Director for Learning Design at Mouse.
Mouse supports young people to think about technology As a tool with propose, I think that empower them to change the world around.
My role at mouse it's making sure that we can [UNKNOWN] ways of engaging them to realize their potential.
My name is Doctor Subrina Oliver, I'm the director of STEM Education.
For Hempstead school district K through 12.
We are creating opportunities for our students to prepare them for jobs that we can't even foresee.
My name is Kaylah Mack I am a [UNKNOWN] alumni.
I feel that not only learning about technology but Finding a way to help serve other people with technology helps you learn more about yourself.
You learn how to code in Mouse.
You learn how to do so many different new things, if you weren't in it, you wouldn't possibly get the chance to do.
Even building something for yourself, which is great.
But building something for someone else shows your empathy and shows who you are as a person and how you can help the world around you.
Getting a little emotional, I'm just thinking about families I haven't thought about.
They never thought about owning their own company, being coders.
I envision, in ten years for our students, possibilities that they couldn't dream or imagine for themselves.
My name is Mickell.
I'm currently attending Parsons at the New School, and I'm a [UNKNOWN] design.
My mentors were the people that, first of all even put the idea in my head that, hey, the best art and design school in America.
You can go there.
Before them, I never would have thought it was possible.
Looking back, if I have enjoy mounts, I don't know what else you get.
I definitely don't think I would have the skills that I do now, all the connections.
The team aspect of Mouse was very important to me, because I still have friends today that I've made in Mouse.
And we just keep inspiring each other until this day, on reaching our goals and doing what we want to do later on in life.
I think there's a point in teaching literacy of any kind, when that magic happens
The instinct for humans to go change their enviroment with it.
And that's why Mouse is here, and that's why we've been here for 20 years.
It's important to use your talent to inspire others.
Mouse has helped the most to gain my voice, so that I can help and inspire other people, like the people in Mouse have inspired me.
And welcome back.
We are on hour, almost hour two of the 359, three hour and 59 minute podcast, celebrating-
We're still here.
How many more times can I get those numbers in a sentence?
We've got Alfred, we've got Ben, and we have Mark back.
Thanks for joining us again, Mark.
Yeah, thanks for having me.
So just jumping off the conversation we were having with Scott.
We were just wrapping up talking about wearables and actually stuff that you would inject under your skin which I guess is like super duper future tech.
But I wanted to start you off with the stuff that's here and now as in like what has your experience been with wearables.
Has anything really caught your attention or captivated you?
Like, do you have a smart watch?
You know, so I do.
There is like, I think biofeedback is you know through smart watches and things, is cool space.
And I think one of that.
We've talked a fair amount in [UNKNOWN] education about especially as a [CROSSTALK] feedback, so as it relates [CROSSTALK] Like how many hours of sleep you are getting?
All that yes.
Steps simple really simple sensing technologies that.
There is debate about whether or not we even call these wearables necessarily.
Wearables deserve their own category that involve more specific Conductive thread and things like that.
As a category I think it all kind of connects but.
Yeah, we've been talking talking about this stuff in education especially as it relates to health education, the bio feedback piece.
Kids in steps is actually a really big deal.
You probably your five year old maybe hasn't asked for a step counter.
No, but maybe at some point.
So Garmin did a small version of their Garmin Sport watches.
That was made for kids and it was a huge hit.
My kid came home and was like, look, these two kids have them in class-
I want this.
-and I want to be counting my steps.
Does that also have-
And he was pretty psyched about it.
It does not.
Okay, because that would get me on board if I knew where my kid is all the time.
Which is creepy big brother stuff, but when you're a parent there's no
The brother technology that isn't more awesome than that.
You can get him a Fitbit for that.
You can upgrade this whole controversy a few weeks ago where there was heat mat map stuff.
Tell me about that what is that?
So like a few weeks ago basically Strava has this whole map thing with its app that liked tracks where you're going it supposed to be for your own fitness purposes but they aggregated all together so it's like a big heat map.
And the controversy was that there was like several members of the military that had like [CROSSTALK].
Like around like secret locations.
Why are all these people in Nevada?
So we also wanted to like talk about like how you use variables too.
Like why don't you talk about, talk to us a bit about that.
In how you price that with education.
Yeah so the trick for a learning organization that's focused on curriculum design is we have a pretty deep process where we're working with
Subject matter experts from the area.
So folks really know variables and can give us the best advice about sourcing product and all of that good stuff.
And then really importantly, we are talking about teachers, after school folks and To really see what the entry point is.
Cuz for Mouse what's important is, there's a whole world of ed tech that would be more than happy, and I don't, I am gonna generalize.
That's what this podcast is for.
That would be more than happy to drop a bunch of hardware and software into schools, and not really thinking too much about, after the initial procurement, what goes on with that stuff.
How much dust it collects
So one of the things we tried to combat that with is having a pre-production process where we're working with subject matter experts and we're really trying to figure out what the entry point is.
So for us, that turned out to be a combination of sewing and circuitry.
So you have lots of small, programmable microprocessors now, that can be embedded into clothing.
The LilyPad is a great example.
There's GEMMA, which is a derivative version of that.
And on and on, and they're getting cheaper and cheaper.
So we're in Arduino is 25 bucks, which is a microprocessor, you can now do some of the wearable versions of those things for 12 bucks per small versions, if you check out ate a fruit.
How deep do the kids get into actually developing the stuff for themselves.
I mean could I at like have like a christmas sweater that I bring in and somehow it lights up on its own.
**** it out yeah.
So the way that we start Sobel Tech is just you
Forget that home ec is no longer taught, so a lot of kids are coming to this stuff without knowing a needle and thread.
And we really wanna bring some of those tactile arts Back to the process of building technology.
So, we start with sewing, and simple materials.
Conductive thread and felt will give you a really cool programmable circuit that you can see on fabric that's flexible.
That's really cool.
Yeah, so that's a great place to start.
In another step, you'll learn how to program it.
Think about how might it sense the environment around me, motion, light, those kinds of things.
Then usually the way that we build a course is to think about The last step as being how, what you wanna design with it, right?
So you might wanna develop a safety sweater that you wear when you're biking or something that, I had a great let me, so I'm gonna plug a great educator, everybody should check out The Techbrarian on Twitter and elsewhere.
He's a technology educator down at The Island School on the Lower East Side.
And had a young person who had Developed sensitive sensors, he wanted his dad to quit smoking.
And they developed a series of sensors that he would wear around his neck as a piece of jewelery that when it sensed the tar and nicotine around him, it would just set off a pretty subtle light, I think.
I don't think that there was sound.
To help his dad realize that my son wants me to quit smoking and I think it worked.
Wow that is really cool
Yeah, but what we were talking about before, young people there's a natural activism in young people and the more we give them technology as a creative tool
The more you hear about stuff like that.
And so I think wearables and sewables are one of those areas that the more accessible we can make them the more we're gonna hear amazing stories like that where you have, that was in that case I think a sixth grader who [CROSSTALK]
Mark I'm sorry to say that you have to go but hopefully we'll have you back again soon.
If you wanna donate to what [UNKNOWN] is doing, go to mounts.org.
I hope you will.
And thank you again for all your time and talking about your program and thanks again for everybody that's watching.
We're gonna keep this going pretty soon, [UNKNOWN] is gonna be on shortly to talk about smart toys.
So we'll go from there.
All right thanks everybody.