8 STEM Toys for Pint-Sized Einsteins | Mashable #kids #STEM #toys #play

Often times, parents want the toys their children play with to teach STEM skills — recently updated to STREAM, or Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math.

At the 2015 International American Toy Fair, there was a bevy of toys that were anything but mindless. Better yet, they’re made to get kids interested in one of these educational topics — without slathering on the “learning” part so they will be disinterested.

Here are some of our favorites that will keep kids learning beyond the classroom.

READ MORE: 8 STEM toys for pint-sized Einsteins | Mashable

Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups | ReadWrite @TeamKano #coding #diy #makerspaces #tech

I think its a very smart marketing move for Kano to launch products that are gender and age neutral. I volunteer with my public library’s CoderDojo program, which is for 9 to 17 year olds. One of the participant’s parents has actually stayed to learn as well. Its heartwarming to see parent and child learning new concepts together. Learning to code, makerspaces, hackfests, arduino…these activities are fun and instructive for all ages and can be a family activity too.

Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups - ReadWrite

Kickstarted into existence in 2013, with a campaign that blasted through its $100,000 goal with $1.5 million in pledges, Kano now makes Raspberry Pi–based computer kits commercially available to children ages 6 to 14. Inspired by those young users, who founder Alex Klein says have created and shared as many as 5 million lines of code, he wants to spread that enthusiasm to a larger audience.

Engineering kits have been popular among kids and a natural fit in the educational space. Likewise, Kano set out following in the footsteps of companies like Little Bits, Adafruit, and Goldie Blox. But Klein now wants to extend Kano’s reach, taking it into grown-up territory. Simply put, he wants to appeal to everyone’s inner “inventor and tinkerer,” he said.

Klein wants to push into the adult maker market by putting out products that are both gender- and age-neutral. The core design, he hopes, speaks to fundamental human impulses: “Everyone has shared urges to look inside,” he said. “Everyone wants to take control. Everyone wants to make and play.”

Kano’s next stage of evolution will involve some fundamental shifts. The company is expanding its line-up with new add-on kits, and plans to open up Kano Blocks—its game-making arena—and online platform Kano World to community development.

All Kano products run on Kano OS, the open source operating system that sits on top of Raspberry Pi. It boasts high computational powers that let it run fast, boot quickly and offer clear graphical rendering. For developers, this means that they will have ample resources to jump on board and quickly create their own projects. Kano World allows for the Kano community to share their creations and add on to existing projects.

READ MORE: Check Out This Coding Toy—For Grownups | ReadWrite

Is Kim Kardashian a geek? ‘StarTalk’ host Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to know | Canada.com #science @neiltyson #startalktv

New science show ‘StarTalk’ hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson premiers Monday 11pm EST on the National Geographic Channel.

APRIL 17, 2015 6:20 PM

TORONTO – Kim Kardashian may not seem like a natural fit for “Star Talk,” the new talk show hosted by celebrity astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson on the National Geographic Channel.

But once in his studio, he would help Kardashian and viewers realize that “science is everywhere and it manifests even in people you think of in pop culture,” he says.

“If I have the opportunity to get Kim Kardashian on ‘Star Talk’ … what will I talk about? … We’ll look at all the things she does,” Tyson says in a phone interview, noting he really would like to have her on the show.

“Does she use a hair straightener? What are the chemicals in that hair straightener? I’ll bring in a chemist to talk about cosmetics that she uses.

“Then all of a sudden you see pop culture analyzed from the point of view of science.”

Premiering Monday at 11 p.m. ET, the hour-long, weekly show sees Tyson interviewing various pop-culture personalities about the ways in which science has influenced their lives and livelihoods.

“How do you get people to think about science who don’t know that they like it, or know that they don’t like it? You have to give them some other reason to participate in a science conversation, and one way to do that is to comb the elements of pop culture,” says Tyson.

“Look around and say, ‘Are there singers, actors, directors, performers that have huge followings? Let’s get them on ‘Star Talk’ and we will find all the ways that science emanates from their profession, even in ways they might not have been aware of themselves.

“And in there we might find out that the guest has a little bit of geek in them.”

The series is based on Tyson’s radio show and podcast of the same name. Bill Nye the Science Guy appears in each episode.

“Star Trek” star George Takei is featured in the first instalment.

Future guests include former U.S. president Jimmy Carter (May 25), director-screenwriter Christopher Nolan (April 27) and retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield (June 1).

Tyson says Hadfield sings the lullaby that he composed for his daughter while he was in space to sing her to sleep. He also talks about why and how he became an astronaut.

“It was a fun interview, and ideally every one of our interviews would go just that way,” says Tyson, who also hosted the miniseries “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.”

Hadfield isn’t the only thing about Canada that Tyson loves.

He also applauds our country’s $5 bill, which depicts Canadarm 2 and Dextre, a robot used on the International Space Station.

“That’s in all of my lectures, by the way,” Tyson says of the Canadarm.

via Is Kim Kardashian a geek? ‘Star Talk’ host Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to know | Canada.com

Women In Tech: It’s Not Just A Pipeline Problem | TechCrunch

READ: Women In Tech: It’s Not Just A Pipeline Problem | TechCrunch.

Nearly 100 percent of libraries offer tech training and STEM programs, study finds | DistrictDispatch

According to a new study from the American Library Association ALA, nearly 100 percent of America’s public libraries offer workforce development training programs, online job resources, and technology skills training. Combined with maker spaces, coding classes, and programs dedicated to entrepreneurship and small business development, libraries are equipping U.S. communities with the resources and skills needed to succeed in today’s – and tomorrow’s – global marketplace.

READ: Nearly 100 percent of libraries offer tech training and STEM programs, study finds | DistrictDispatch

High-tech gloves can teach you Braille even if you’re distracted | Engadget

It looks like a team of Georgia Tech researchers is in the business of making wondrous, high-tech gloves — their most recent one, for instance, can teach you Braille even if youre doing something else. Similar to the piano-teaching glove they designed years ago, this new pair has vibrating motors on each knuckle that buzz in different patterns to correspond with preset Braille phrases.

Read More: High-tech gloves can teach you Braille even if you’re distracted | Engadget

Artists Etch Comic Strip Into a Single Strand of Hair | Mashable

The eye-strain implications alone are staggering. To promote the upcoming Exceptional Hardware Software Meeting (EHSM) in Hamburg, Germany, a team of DIY artists and scientists has etched the world’s smallest comic strip on a single human hair.

READ MORE: Artists Etch Comic Strip Into a Single Strand of Hair | Mashable

LEGO Car Fueled by Air Drives Into History | PCMag.com

What started more than 60 years ago as a children’s building-block toy has turned into a technological tool, most recently used to design a plastic car fueled by air.

More than 500,000 LEGO bricks were used to build Steve Sammartino and Raul Oaida’s “Super Awesome Micro Project”: a drivable LEGO car. Read more: LEGO Car Fueled by Air Drives Into History | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.