KnowAtom's Blog

Mar 18, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

STEM Squared Summit Guest Innovator: Corky Newcomb

"Risk and fear is key. You got to make sure these kids understand it's okay to take a risk, and the only fear, the only thing that you have to fear is basically, failure, and that's not an option. You got to just tell them, “look, we need innovation. We need you." -Corky Newcomb

Self-described "Inventor Mentor" Corky Newcomb spoke at the STEM² Summit about the need for great ideas from young students and how teachers can allow those ideas to come to fruition.

In this transcript of his talk at the Summit, you'll read about:

  • Newcomb's own family heritage and how it shaped him into the inventor he is today
  • His dream for an American "Revovention"
  • How to encourage students to pursue their dreams
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Topics: STEM Squared Summit, Guest Innovator

Mar 18, 2016 by Sara Goodman

STEM Squared Summit Guest Innovator: Dr. Beth Marcus

"Embrace messiness, embrace the challenge, fail easily and often, and teach your children that failure is part of learning and it's important." —Dr. Beth Marcus

App developer, entrepreneur and high-tech industry maven Dr. Beth Marcus shares her personal story of falling in love with science as a kid in New York City, and how that love motivated her to found a series of companies harnessing her love of STEM.

In this transcript from the Summit, you'll learn:

  • About how arts and STEM are not that different 
  • Dr. Marcus's higher ed experience, from building bikes at MIT to digging up archaeological findings in the West Indies
  • The products she's pioneered from joysticks to dogwear
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Topics: STEM, STEM Squared Summit

Mar 18, 2016 by Sara Goodman

STEM Squared Summit Guest Innovator: Jim Starkey

"The technology that you teach to your students may be state-of-the-art the cutting edge of state-of-the-art but by the time they hit the job market, that technology is obsolete. That's the world that we live in; you just have to learn to deal with that. The attitudes that you inspire in your kids are going to be with them forever. If you teach them to adapt and to look beyond what everybody knows, then you have a kid who has the potential to do something major." —Jim Starkey

Database architect Jim Starkey, an innovator who was working in computer science right at the cusp of the adoption of the Internet, spoke at the STEM² Summit about pioneering special database technology through InterBase, lessons he learned along the way, and how educators can prepare their students for the next tech disruption.  

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Topics: STEM, STEM Squared Summit

Mar 18, 2016 by Sara Goodman

STEM Squared Summit Guest Innovator: Lewis Athanas


"Mrs. Condry understood something about how my mind process works. What happened was that she realized I liked to make connections. ... That's what I got from Mrs. Condry. It was really pretty neat. She gave me permission to use my brain and think."
-Lewis Athanas

Audio technology innovator Lewis Athanas spoke at the STEM² Summit about his adventures and misadventures throughout his education and how they eventually guided him to pursue a career in audio and noise-cancelling technology.

In this transcript of his talk at the Summit, you'll read about:

  • His precocious early beginnings in elementary school
  • How a few good teachers shaped his passions into his vocation
  • How he almost set his dorm on fire by keeping a scientific experiment under his bed
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Topics: STEM, STEM Squared Summit

Mar 18, 2016 by Sara Goodman

STEM Squared Summit Guest Innovator: Mark Gelfand

" I said: Let's do projects. Time is short! They all stopped and they're looking at me like, 'what?' when I say, 'let's do stuff.' It's universal. Kids everywhere like the hands-on stuff. I'm sorry. It's a lot more fun for them than just reading a book. I want them to read books, but you need some incentive to read a book." -Mark Gelfand

Mark Gelfand, a STEM-minded financial systems pioneer, spoke at the STEM² Summit on advancing hands-on STEM initiatives internationally in Ethiopia, Israel and other countries.

In this transcript of his talk from the summit, you'll learn:

  • What's so exciting about the STEM world
  • How, in the words of Gelfand's son, "inside every child, there is a scientist"
  • Secret airlifting, Ethiopian immigrants, and math class
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Topics: STEM, STEM Squared Summit

Mar 18, 2016 by Sara Goodman

Sean O'Reilly, Innovator in 3D Printing, Talks STEM Innovation

"I think kids younger and younger can interface with these tools of 3D printing and scanning and whatnot and be able to manifest some ideas. ... Whatever it is they happen to be into, find a way to have them pursue it and pursue it in an open-ended way — to think about it experimentally." -Sean O'Reilly

3D printing innovator Sean O'Reilly weighs in at the STEM² Summit on the rise of this new industry and how it factors into STEM education.

In his lecture, transcribed below, you'll hear about:

  • A breakdown of what 3D printing is and how it works
  • O'Reilly's own background in STEM learning as a child
  • How 3D printing could be used in the classroom
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Topics: STEM Squared Summit, 3D printing, Guest Innovator

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