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Salt Lake City struggles to control particle pollution, which, caused mainly by car and truck emissions, creates a fog-like mass that coats the entire city. While chemical engineers have been monitoring environmental conditions in the region for quite some time, a team at the University of Utah has recently created a network of air quality sensors to put into the hands of citizen scientists. The engineers hope that by doing so, they can better monitor ...
MIT’s Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili) is bringing hard science, history, economics, and other fields together to shed light on one common issue: education. What is learning, how does it happen, and how do we measure it? What skills do students need today to face the challenges that lie ahead? How can K-12 education, higher education, and continuing education adapt in accordance with recent findings in brain science, technology, and other fields...
Over fifty years ago, the philosopher Marshall McLuhan proposed that "the medium is the message," meaning that the technology through which we communicate is often more important to culture and society than the actual messages we convey. While presumably you could send the same message through a newspaper or novel as through a TV show or text message, would these different media convey the exact same sentiment? MIT's Collective Learning Group...
Esports, like poker or chess, gets a lot of flack for not being "real sports." For competitive video gamers in the realm of esports, however, there is at least one franchise out there looking to increase not only players’ legitimacy and reputation, but also their skill level and longevity by treating them like real pro athletes. CompLexity, an esports franchise with investment from the Dallas Cowboys, currently has two of their nine teams liv...
In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to live a screen-free life. Whether it’s our computers at work, our televisions at home, or our phones at any moment in between, it’s hard to imagine how we would communicate, connect, learn, entertain ourselves, or do our jobs without them. Despite their ubiquity and importance in everyday modern life, many are concerned about the effects digital screens have on our bodies and brains. Because human...
As a part of a global experiment to bring play to young children, researchers have installed 513 "play labs" in Uganda, Tanzania, and Bangladesh. These spaces are designed by play scholars and architects using the latest research on neuroscience and child development. Play leaders don't tell students what to do; they simply give them space to explore and learn however they prefer. Parents are asked to contribute 30 to 60 cents a month and volunteer in ...
Paola Araiza-Alba, a researcher at Swinburne University, wants to explore how virtual reality (VR) impacts learning. She has designed three studies that will investigate how the impact of VR on different types of learning compares to the impact of other learning tools such as iPads, videos, and books. One VR experience intends to teach children how to escape rip tides, another aims to foster problem-solving through game-play, and the third tries to tea...
Nature may be the greatest innovator, but humans are arguably the greatest imitators. In studying the unique abilities of different animals to jump, swim, fly, crawl, and slither, researchers have been able to build robots that can compete with, and sometimes even supersede, their living counterparts. Bio-inspired bots are a great example of how we can learn from nature to develop technology that can serve a whole new set of needs. Bio-inspir...
The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program aims to support young women interested in computer science and connect them to resources that will help them thrive. Over the course of the seven week program, the girls work in teams on a project. This group of young women created "The Truth Behind Us," a website that features stori...
Transferring 2D understanding to a 3D space and vice versa can be challenging, and not just for young learners. Anyone who has taken an advanced math or science course knows that complex and abstract concepts can be challenging to comprehend if no tangible applications exist. Fields like landscape architecture, for example, rely heavily on one’s ability to render in 2D maps what will ultimately be experienced in 3D. In order to address this c...