Being a Judge for Believe in Ohio 2016

I had the opportunity to judge the Believe in Ohio competition again this year. If you’re unfamiliar with it (it’s only the second year), high school students from around Ohio come up with new ideas revolving around new/existing STEM principles. Believe in Ohio (BiO) is a free program from The Ohio Academy of Science that helps students prepare for the future. High school students can compete for cash awards and scholarships to Ohio colleges and universities based on competitive STEM Commercialization or STEM Business Plans. We hope they will pursue their futures in Ohio by inventing products »

Building a Model 4-Stroke Internal Combustion Engine (your car explodes gas 50x a second, how cool is that?!)

Garage sales are great for finding random, interesting things to do with the kids, usually for dirt cheap. Unless you run into one of those garage sales where everything’s only 5% off the original retail price… Folks, your garage sale is one step before the dumpster. Don’t try to fund next summer’s vacation. Make a few bucks, clear out the basement and enjoy a night at the movies. Splurge on a large popcorn and 80 oz drink. Thank you, that is all.* Last summer, I found this “Smithsonian Motor-Works” set for $5, which I figured was a »

Charles Townes, The Laser, and Fostering Curiosity

When I hear about a discovery or invention, it sometimes seems inevitable that the people involved should’ve ended up where they were, doing what they did, as if they were handed the situation or the whole thing were preordained. At the very least, I don’t give much thought to what in their lives led them to that eventual point of discovery. I doubt I’m alone in this. In science, there is usually no cold, objective inevitability to discovery or the accumulation of knowledge, no overarching logic that controls or determines events. . . . One has ideas, does experiments, meets »

Being a judge for the first "Believe in Ohio" competition

I recently participated as a judge in the first Believe in Ohio regional competition, where students present plans for new products and technology, in the hopes of taking home some of the nearly $2 million available in cash awards and college scholarships. Believe in Ohio is a free new program from the Ohio Academy of Science that helps high school students prepare for the future.  The program was developed in collaboration with Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio with the support of the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio General Assembly.  Believe in Ohio is the only Ohio student STEM Education Program »

Having Fun with Snap Circuits Jr

I knew I was going to have the kids to myself this weekend, so it was the perfect time to be the hero and break out a cool new toy to play with! I wanted it to be something I could get into too (is that selfish?), so I purchased a set of Snap Circuits Jr, which I keep hearing good things about. For the review-conscious like me, ratings for these sets (there are different expansion sets too) are off the chart, and are reasonably priced (this one was only $25). What’s in the Kit? Here’s the kit »