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Our Favorite Things from CES

During our weekly Simple Electronics Q&A show today, Tara and I discussed some of our favorite tech from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Here are three of our favorite creative technology designs from CES 2015.

1. Anouk Wipprecht’s Robotic Spider Dress

2. CocoJet: a Chocolate 3D Printer by 3D Systems

3. FashionTeq’s Zazzi – Jewelry that syncs with your smart phone

Megan Smith

White House CTO cringes when adults say they are bad at science in front of kids

In a New York Times interview, White House Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Megan Smith, said she cringes whMegan Smithen she hears highly educated adults say how bad they are at math and science, especially when they do so in front of kids. She recently told a group of teachers at the White House “That has to change,” and “We would never say that about reading.”

Ms. Smith, an MIT-trained engineer and former Google executive,  had ideas and a curiosity about how things work, from a very young age. We liked how the article described projects she made as a kid.

  • At age 4, using sticks and tinfoil, she built an elaborate scarecrow in her backyard
  • At 14, she took apart her stepmother’s bicycle just to figure out how it all fit together, then left all the parts in a bucket
  • When she was in eighth grade she used a circular saw in her father’s basement workshop to build a solar-powered house for one of her school’s mandatory science fairs

In September 2014, President Obama named Megan Smith the United States CTO  in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.  As U.S. CTO, Smith focuses on how technology policy and innovation can advance the future of our nation.


FIRST Robotics KickOff

Saturday, Jan. 3rd was an exciting day for robot lovers around the world, the FIRST* Robotics competition kicked off with about 75,000 students in grades 9-12 from schools around the world participating in the program.

Every year the game changes, teams  have to build an entirely new robot. This year’s game is called Recycle Rush. Teams have to build robots that can pick up and stack totes and recyclables containers, then place trash in those containers. Sounds like a fantastic theme to me!

FIRST began in 1992. Their mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

FIRST has a few other programs including Junior FIRST Lego League (Grades K-3), FIRST Lego League (Grades 4-8), FIRST Tech Challenge (Grades 7-12).

Learn more at the FIRST website.

*FIRST is an acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.