Archive for October, 2011

October 26th, 2011

Interview: Jim Brazell on STEM Education and Innovation

What skills do students need for a 21st Century Workforce? How is STEM education meeting the needs of these demands? Are high schools and colleges collaborating well enough to provide a continuum of education for US students? What skills will students need to be a part of a globally collaborative community of workers? How can we get more kids and schools interested in Science? What is the role of design and the arts?

Science House Foundation begins a new podcast series today. Over the next few months we will feature interviews with innovators, educators, scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists and designers around the world attempting to address these pressing questions.

Jim Brazell speaking about STEM Innovation

We begin our series with a conversation with technology and STEM education innovator Jim Brazell. Jim is a technology forecaster, strategist, and public speaker focusing on innovation and transformation.

When I first met Jim in 2009, he was one of the first people to argue that we need to add an “A” for “Arts education” to the increasingly popular STEM acronym, which stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” He also made a parallel argument that STEM education was our “Sputnik Moment,” the time for the US to rise to its next great challenge: Science and Arts education. Since then, Jim has worked tirelessly through speeches, books and essays to address this point. And he has added a new element: Design.

I spoke to Jim about the future of STEM education, robots, educating teachers, and how to create a culture of innovation in education in this installment of the Science House Foundation podcast series.

Science House Foundation: A Conversation with Jim Brazell about Innovation in STEM Education by ScienceHouseFdn

In a recent article for the League for Innovation in the Community College, Jim takes an applied approach to exploring how the arts can lead to innovation in science education. In his article, “Multiple Perspectives on 21st Century Skills, STEM, the Arts, and Educational Innovation—Voices of Change from the Trenches of P-20 Professional Development” he tells part of his story through a Haiku workshop he took his teachers and students through.

Between 2007 and 2010, Jim delivered over 100 speeches to audiences ranging from the 2009 inaugural NSF High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (Educating America’s Technical Workforce) to the International Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation on energy policy in Norway in 2008 and solutions to the financial crisis in Portugal in 2009. Since 2005, Jim has served as a volunteer to the Defense Learning Strategies Consortium, NSF Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative, Texas STEM Action Committee (TBEC), Information Technology and Security Academy, San Antonio-Austin Nano-Bio-Tech Summit, and the San Antonio Cyber Security Action Team.

Included below are additional resources to some of Jim’s other presentations, which he has given us permission to post on this site.

The Art of the Future
The League: “Multiple Perspectives on 21st Century Skills, STEM, the Arts, and Educational Innovation—Voices of Change from the Trenches of P-20 Professional Development


October 18th, 2011

Robot Storytelling Curriculum Ideas

Robot Diaries – Dog from CREATE Lab on Vimeo.

Education advisor Heather Knight sent us the above video, which we’ve shared with our Terrabotic grantees. It offers some interest suggestions for students to use storytelling in their robot programming.

Thanks Heather!

October 5th, 2011

SHF Board Member Paul Hoffman Named CEO of Liberty Science Center

Paul HoffmanWe’re thrilled to announce that Science House Foundation board member Paul Hoffman has accepted a position as President and CEO of New Jersey’s Liberty Science Center. We’ve posted the full release below.

Congratulations Paul, we’re looking forward to collaborating with you in your new incarnation!


Paul Hoffman Named President and CEO of Liberty Science Center
Internationally Renowned Journalist, Consultant and Author Begins Tenure November 1

Jersey City, NJ – October 3, 2011 – The board of trustees today announced the appointment of Paul Hoffman as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Science Center. Mr. Hoffman is the institution’s fifth president since its 1993 opening.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paul to Liberty Science Center,” says board chair Dr. William A. Tansey. “His career has been dedicated to broadly and creatively communicating the fascinating ideas of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to the public through print media, film, the Web, museums and exhibitions, scientific institutions, books, and even puzzles. There are very few people who can illuminate the adventure and beauty of science as well as Paul. We are confident he will help bring our award-winning exhibits and programs to an even higher level of ‘wow.’”

Mr. Hoffman’s career is remarkable for its variety and range. Widely published in The New Yorker,

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Time, Wired and more, he describes himself as “a journalist and biographer whose work explores the relationship between genius, madness, obsession and creativity.” Mr. Hoffman is also co-owner of a new locavore Italian restaurant in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, called Rucola.

He has been a “brainstorming expert” for Internet startups, publishers, advertising agencies, museums, and scientific organizations from NASA to the National Science Foundation. He also served as an award-winning president of both Discover magazine and Encyclopaedia Britannica and as the editorial chairman of Big Think. A well-known television personality, Mr. Hoffman has appeared on CNN, ESPN, the BBC, Good Morning America, PBS NewsHour, David Letterman, and Oprah, among others.

“The board was very impressed that in the midst of all these remarkable accomplishments, Paul also has museum experience,” Dr. Tansey explains. “He is the creative director of a planned Rubik’s Cube worldwide traveling exhibition and an ‘evangelist’ for the new Museum of Mathematics whose exhibition, Math Midway, opens at Liberty Science Center on October 7.”
Mr. Hoffman is the author of 11 books including the international bestseller, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdös and the Search for Mathematical Truth, which received the Rhone-Poulenc prize for best science book of the year.

Paul Hoffman graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About Liberty Science Center – A NJ not for profit institution: Dedicated to providing transformative experiences that connect schools and society with science and technology, Liberty Science Center is the New Jersey-New York City region’s largest education resource. Liberty Science Center brings the excitement of science to students, educators, families and adults in engaging new ways, establishing a progressive benchmark for the science center field. Visit to learn more about Liberty Science Center, located in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.