The future is here

In addition to NSTA publications, I read many others related to science and education, both in print and online. I usually scan the pages and images, focusing on articles of interest. However, the May 2013 issue of Smithsonian was so compelling, I had to read it cover to cover! The theme was “The Future Is Here.” Here is a sampling of the STEM-related articles featured in this issue:

The Body Eclectic – There’s more to microorganisms that co-exist in the human body than digestion. This article looks at how these organisms affect both physical and emotional health. It could lead to an interesting class discussion on correlation vs causation.

The Printed World – How will 3-D printers change our concept of a “factory” when creating or replicating objects can be done anywhere?

Clear as a Bell – Alexander Graham Bell is credited with inventing the telephone, but what did his voice actually sound like? The article describes the technology used to extract sounds from media that are more than 100 years old. What the article doesn’t have is a link to the actual voice, but here is a related YouTube video with his actual words.

Block Party – Legos are more than toys. Engineering and programmable robots are some of the ways these little blocks can be used as learning tools.

The Road Less Traveled – Here is an infographic on STEM careers. Why do people who have an early interest in STEM topics not follow through in their career choices?

X and the City – A mathematician takes the readers on a tour of a city in this article on quantitative urbanism. “Many aspects of modern cities can be reduced to mathematical formulas.” What are the implications for solving problems or predicting trends in housing, crime rates, or land use?

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