The FIRST [For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] Tech Challenge (FTC) Championship is happening this weekend, on Sunday February 16th, as we briefly mentioned in a recent post. With the date fast approaching, we’re eager to tell you more about the event.
“FIRST Tech Challenge allows high school students to work hand-in-hand with technical professionals to develop a solution to the annual challenge. Students design and construct robotic devices which can be autonomously programmed or operator-controlled to perform various tasks. ” – FIRSTweb page
FTC is an annual tournament for students of ages 12-18, lasting from September, when the year’s project topic is revealed, until April, when the world championships are held. This year’s topic, titled “BLOCK PARTY!,” is a square-fielded game that will peg two-teamed ‘Alliances’ against each other in a match of obstacles and time limits with a points system to determine a winner. For this weekend’s challenge, 34 teams (down from the original 84 in the qualifying rounds across New York) will compete, and only 5 will move on to the next level in early April.
In preparation for the championships, more than 100 members of Pace’s community have helped make these games possible, namely Dr. Richard Kline, who is head mogul of the Hudson Valley chapter. The Seidenberg community has been involved with FIRST for more than a decade, not only for the Tech Challenge, but Lego Leagues as well.
For more information about the tournament this weekend, or upcoming championships, visit Pace’s FTC page.
Within the past 2 months, Seidenberg has been all around the world. We’ve sent faculty members and even students to the far corners of the Earth to increase our global presence. So where have we been going and what are we doing there? And, more importantly, how can you get involved?Well, the first trip was exclusively for top members, meaning Jonathan Hill, the Associate Dean and Director of Special Programs and Projects here at Seidenberg. Dr. Hill attended conferences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as well as in Singapore. These conferences focused on STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – a topic that the Seidenberg school emphasizes in the classroom and study environments. Attending these conferences allowed Dr. Hill to experience what kinds of STEM initiatives are occurring around the globe in academia and commercially.
Soon after Dr. Hill’s return from KL and Singapore, six students set off for Helsinki, Finland, as part of Seidenberg’s annual participation in Product Development Project (PDP). This is a project we collaborate on with our good friends at Aalto University’s Design Factory. It’s an 8-month long project that allows students involved to travel to Finland twice: once during Fall to meet their Aalto team mates and to kickstart the project, and once again in May for the final presentations of said project. It’s a great way for students to gain real world experience in product development, which can often be programming heavy. This year, the six students from Pace have been put onto two different PDP teams. One team (Julie Gauthier, Olga Bogomolova, and Daniel Rings) has been joined with 11 other team mates in Finland and they will be working on a project funded by one of Finland’s largest casino companies to create new types of gambling machines that enhance the culture (of gambling and Finland) rather than detract from it. The other team (Shane Kirk, Nicole Semple, and Anya Rosentreter) has also joined with 11 others to design a test space for a children’s hospital that will be used in the plans for a new hospital to be built in 2016.
The day after the students returned, Jonathan Hill, Professor Richard Kline, and Wilfredo Peña, Seidenberg’s Community Manager, left for Shanghai. They visited the Aalto Tongji Design Factory, a portion of Aalto DF that has been around since 2010, for a “meeting [that] allowed for partners of the Global Design Factory Network to come together and share ideas about their respective Design Factories,” says Peña. Our Helsinki-based friends Peter Tapio and Andy Clutterbuck also joined up with Hill, Kline, and Peña to participate in the International Design Factory Week of 2013. This multifaceted partnership has grown strong enough that Pace University has now become one of only 6 international universities to be an official part of the Design Factory. This means big things for Seidenberg! More info, once the details are sorted, will be available in due time!
“Professor Kalevi Ekman, director of the world-renowned Design Factory at Aalto University, will conduct a workshop on Design Thinking in Higher Education on Friday, September 6, 2013 at the Seidenberg School, at Pace University, 163 William Street, room 236 from 11:00 – 2:30 PM.
The essence of Design Factory is its unique blend of creative, meeting, and social spaces. Design Factory also hosts research projects for industry and nurtures start-up companies in the adjacent ‘Venture Garage’. Aligning the needs of students and industry, Professor Ekman is a leading expert on combining university and corporate resources to create meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty.”
Finland’s eye for design in educational settings stands out from the rest of the world. Their education systems are internationally renown for being the best; could their designs for educational settings be a major factor in the quality of learning? It is not absurd to think so. Find out for yourself by attending Ekman’s workshop. Space is limited, so reserve a seat via the Eventbrite page.
Aalto University is one that Seidenberg has been partnered with in recent years and one that, on it’s own, stands at the forefront of innovation in technology, design, and much more. Having this relationship with Aalto is highly beneficial for the Seidenberg community and these seminars are a treat to be celebrated. We welcome Professor Ekman and eagerly await next Friday’s workshop!
We have been busy with STEM! A distinguished group of 20 talented New York high school students have been invited to participate in a 3 week long STEM camp experience. Much like what we did with this year’s Summer Scholars Experience, this educational camp aims to raise awareness about the importance of STEM in addition to exposing the students to the many opportunities that STEM has to offer. As the camp kicked off, our bright participants were placed in teams of 4 and asked to come up with a concept for a STEM related mobile app and website.
A Day in the Life of a STEM Camp Participant
Each day the camp is filled with excitement and adventure. Students not only learn about coding and Photoshop but they are exposed to a wealth of knowledge from experienced guest speakers and dedicated mentors, including Pavel Kibrik, who talked about the importance of sleep, and Pace professor Samuel Baruch, who discussed his experiences at Columbia where he earned his degree in Math. Our bright campers also get a cultural thrill when visiting different top tech companies, startups, and tourist attractions around NYC. So far, our campers have attended the UNIFCEF CUNY design challenge where they had the chance to learn how students are using STEM to improve the quality of life of the less fortunate. Our campers also visited the NY Hall of Science and the Highline Park. Our bright STEM participants visited Codeacademy, Eye Beam, and Alley Tech NYC to see how awesome it is to work at startups.
What’s in Store?
With one more week to go, the campers have to finish their STEM mobile apps and their accompanying websites. Each group will then present their work to an esteemed panel of judges. We are excited to see the success of our talented STEM campers!
Pace’s Opportunitas page recently featured Seidenberg grad Keith McPherson, class of ’13, and Seidenberg Professor Rick Kline, PhD, who set out to build their own quadcopter drone. Through their experience building the hardware and software of the drone, they discovered plausible uses for drones, including commercial and journalistic purposes (though many types of commercial use are still illegal in the States).
Follow the link to read the article featured on Pace’s Opportunitas page:
“In reality there is no one ‘best way’ to defend against cyber attacks because the path towards safe computing practices that could thwart attacks has been lengthy, evolving and unclear.” Read more
How should congress approach cybersecurity? And how do agencies like the FTC choose which corporations to attack when cybersecurity falters, especially when there are so few solid legal codes in place? Another of Prof. James Gabberty’s articles on the topic has been published on “The Hill’s” Congress blog; this article specifically discusses the FTC’s lawsuit against Wyndham and the resulting call to policy scrutiny. Gabberty continually publishes articles for “The Hill” and is an active part of the conversation that surrounds congress’ role in cybersecurity. His article from February, available here, also considers politics and information security.