Interview with Andy Hendrickson, CTO of Disney Animation

Andy Hendrickson, Chief Technology Officer Disney Animation

"Do you know about that new system they used to make Big Hero 6?" one of the Maker Teens asked me yesterday, "It's so fast it could render the entire movie Brave in, like, 10 days." In a Freaky Friday-like switch I was the one who responded with an eye-roll. "You mean the Hyperion system? The Disney Animation supercomputer that ranks among the top 75 most powerful in the world? Do you read my blog?!"  I sighed with adolescent drama. "I already ... [ Read More ]

Lenovo Supports Young Chicago Coders

Lenovo helps Chicago kids learn to code

I've mentioned a couple of times that I'm a Lenovo Insider, a group of brand fans who get the inside scoop on the company and its products. In keeping with the company's tagline, For those who do, Lenovo helped me do something really cool for a group of Chicago kids. Remember the Code Phreaks? The Code Phreaks are a group of Chicago middle school students who spend their Saturday mornings learning to code with Brian Myers and a few other adult ... [ Read More ]

Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone: STEM Girl Friday

STEM Advice from Dr. Leonisa Ardizone

Leonisa Ardizzone, Ed.D. is passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM Kids. The founder of Storefront Science, she has a new book out this month, Science--Not Just for Scientists! Easy Explorations for Young Children. Some of my New York friends are big fans of your space, Storefront Science. What prompted you to start that? I'm so pleased to hear that we had so many fans! Sadly, the space closed about a year ago as it became ... [ Read More ]

Get Ready for STEM, Chicago

Chicago Architecture Foundation Open House Chicago

There are a few exciting things taking place in Chicago in the coming days! Open House Chicago Sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Open House Chicago provides behind-the-scenes glimpses and tour of many of Chicago’s architectural gems October 18 and 19. This free(!) public event runs throughout the weekend and takes place all over the city. Feeling spontaneous? Great! No reservations are needed. Just show up at one of the 150 ... [ Read More ]

The Maine Game

Maine Game Club for computer programming for high school students in Bangor, Maine

Chicago Museums, take note of what a group of high school students from Maine is doing in partnership with the Maine Discovery Museum. Students from The Maine Game Club are developing interactive STEM games for the museum's young patrons. The teens are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to offset their travel expenses and the occasional pizza (they are teenagers, after all) as they develop fun, interactive games to teach ... [ Read More ]

Win a Sylvan Learning Grant for Your PTA!

Sylvan Learning supports PTA

This post is sponsored by Sylvan Learning. The opinions are completely my own. Did you catch my September column about STEM in the Classroom on the Sylvan Learning Blog? Hands-on STEM in the classroom means discovery in the classroom. It means problem-solving, active learning and engaged students. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, collectively known as STEM, are key 21st century skills. Integrated STEM programming combines at least ... [ Read More ]

Disney Animation’s New Movie and the Big Hero 6 XPrize Challenge

Disney's Big Hero 6

A handful of bloggers will soon be going to a red carpet premiere of Disney's latest film, Big Hero 6. I won't be among them. However, last week I got the chance to talk with two top executives at Disney Animation, Andy Hendrickson and Hank Driskill, from the comfort of home, wearing jeans and, likely, the t-shirt I slept in the night before. Clearly, I'm winning. The interviews were lively and interesting. I didn't actually ask a lot about ... [ Read More ]