The SySTEM Alert! newsletter inspires students to see how their lives intertwine with the
world of STEM. Each four-page issue is stuffed with STEM-relevant content – from news
about cutting-edge science to explorations of familiar technology to conversations with
engineers to real-world applications of math. A corresponding knowledge quiz for use in
your classroom is available online as well.
In this issue:
DREAMS IN MOTION
Whether you see a video game as a work of art or a piece of entertainment,
it is a complex creation requiring numerous experts. Many video games are
simulated worlds with landscapes, characters, stories, physics, and rules. From
programmers to artists, various experts must collaborate and communicate
to create the finished product.
SySTEM Alert! speaks with Riley Dutton, director of OrbusVR, a breakthrough
virtual reality game experience coming soon. Riley explains how the members
of his team work together to create the experience they want to give players.
“Although the technical considerations (such as what programming language
to use, what type of game engine, and so on) are important, really they are very
secondary to the core goal of delivering that experience . . .”
- Virtual reality
- 21st-century skills
Computers are becoming more intelligent each year. But the type of intelligence they have
is quite different from human intelligence. A new computer transistor has been designed
based on the principles of organic (living) materials. It has the ability to make new connections
on its own – that is, to learn!
- Computer science
- Artificial intelligence
SING ME A SAD SONG
A recent scientific analysis of popular song lyrics
reveals that the emotions expressed have changed
over time. In past decades, music expressed joy more
often. But in modern times, anger and fear have
become more common. What does this tell us about
the reach of science? About the interaction between
technology and emotions? About who we are?
- Big data
- Music and culture
- Social and emotional learning
“Mom! Fluffy chewed up one of my new boots!”
“Don’t worry, dear. Just set it out in the sun,
and it will repair itself.”
Sound far-fetched? A new 3-D printing
process creates rubber that can heal itself even
after dramatic damage.
- Materials science
- 3-D printing