Tag Archives: science education

9 TED Designs that Promote People

TEDxMidAtlantic stage

The big “D” in TED stands for Design, alongside Technology and Entertainment. These designsfrom TEDxMidAtlanticfoster curiosity, collaboration, and fact-based knowledge. They help people to be more durable in a complex and increasingly digital world.

One design is an object:

The Hemafuse was presented by Carolyn Yarina, CEO of the medical device company Sisu Global HealthThe handheld blood recycler is especially useful in Continue reading

Cubicle Dwellers: This Design’s For You

Since word got out a few years ago that sitting too much isn’t healthy, products have become available that help people on the job, but some seem more fitting for a CEO. It took one of the many who work in cubicles to come up with a solution that works for them. This is her story.

Day Martin used to be a data analyst, a “knowledge worker,” as she likes to call people who make money using their minds, almost always while they’re sitting down. “They sit there all day, every day,” as she says. “They have to. It’s their job.”

That’s what she was doing at her job in suburban Washington, D.C. until one day, she had a car accident. When she recovered, she noticed something about her back: “I just had pain when I went to work.”

When she checked online, the Internet suggested she try a standing desk. But there was a problem: nothing on the market allowed her to stand comfortably inside her cubicle. “I thought it was obvious, but it wasn’t available.”

So Day decided to make one herself. At first, she hacked together some cardboard. That helped, but didn’t fit the office aesthetic. “People said stuff like, ‘How long are those boxes going to be sitting on your desk for?’”

Then, with assistance from her father-in-law the home builder, she made some sturdier prototypes. “My colleagues loved them. I was shocked at how many people have their back pain stories – I had no idea.”

To build her final design, she sourced parts from within the U.S. “What I love about American manufacturing is that it’s so much easier. I could get things in the mail in a couple of days.” In practically no time, the Stand Steady desk was born, as Day proudly reports Continue reading

Prescribing Nature for Better Health

RxWhen it comes to improving the health of children, can a walk in the park be as good as a pill? A growing number of American physicians are betting on it.

“I prescribe nature to patients because it is the easiest way for me to get people outside,” declares Robert Zarr, a Washington, D.C. pediatrician. The National Environmental Education Foundation has made it a mission to turn Zarr and other healthcare providers into “Nature Champions” who prescribe free-form outdoor exercise to their patients.

I listed the sorry state of U.S. inactivity in a previous post. And there’s more I learned at the national Walking Summit:  most American adults spend 90% of their time indoors, 40% of them get no leisure-time physical activity, and their kids park in front of screens 7.5 hours a day.  This has contributed to a doubling of the type 2 diabetes rate in the past fifteen years and the fact that one in three Americans—whether adult or child—weighs too much. Continue reading

“Games are the Future” – E.O. Wilson

We might wonder how one of the world’s leading biologists, E. O. Wilson, could say that video games are the future of education.  But that he did, today on NPR’s Morning Edition.   His blunt prediction: “We’re going through a rapid transition now. We’re about to leave print and textbooks behind.”

It was an extraordinary segment.  Renowned electronic game designer, Will Wright, was the guest interviewer.  He chose to talk to Wilson, whom Wright says has been a major influence on his career as designer of such blockbusters as Sim City and the evolution-depicting Spore.  Wilson believes that video games can actually recreate teaching methods that adults used on kids at the dawn of humankind.  “They went with adults and they learned everything they needed to learn by participating in the process,” Wilson said. Virtual reality games, Wilson says, can do the same thing.  In Wilson’s vision, if a teacher wants to visit a tundra, the class can go to a tundra.  A rainforest can be explored, canopy to floor, without one bug bite. Continue reading