TIME the big picture

How Intel and Boeing Are Helping These Kids Learn STEM Skills

Intel STEM
Ken Brown A first grade class at Waggoner Elementary School in Tempe, Ariz. after completing the first-ever Intel volunteer-founded STEM and Supply Chain Outreach program.

An entire region of Arizona has made STEM education a core economic development tenant

As a tech analyst, one of the areas I’m highly interested in is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. I have written columns in TIME about why the San Francisco 49ers and Chevron are willing to spend millions of dollars getting kids up to speed on STEM. Their central goal is to help kids prepare for a world where technology has become pervasive, one where there will be a need for millions of STEM-educated students to work for and run all types of companies around the world.

I was recently told about an entire region in Arizona that has made education — and especially STEM education — a core tenet of its economic development strategy. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of going to Phoenix and attending what was called the PHX East Valley THRIVE Economic Diversity Summit. It was sponsored by what is known as the PHX East Valley Partnership, which encompasses Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Queen Creek, Apache Junction and Scottsdale.

This partnership was created in 1982 as a 501(c)(6) nonpartisan coalition of civic, business, educational and political leaders dedicated to the economic development and promotion of the East Valley of Greater Phoenix. The group advocates for improvements in areas such as economic development, education, transportation and infrastructure, arts, healthcare, and other important areas.

The PHX East Valley Partnership is led by the energetic Roc Arnett, who serves as its president and CEO and is quite a visionary when it comes to leading this group of cities and helping them expand their overall economic fortunes. In my many discussions with Mr. Arnett during the event, he kept coming back to the importance that education plays in his region and how he, along with the mayors of the six cities involved, are highly dedicated to making education and STEM-related programs a fundamental emphasis of many of the companies in this area.

According to Gilbert, Arizona Mayor John Lewis: “[The] presence of firms like Intel, Orbital, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Banner MD Anderson in the Phoenix East Valley, coupled with an emerging pipeline of technologies and a specialized workforce from state universities, solidify the region’s competitiveness for rapidly growing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations. Our communities are working together with the world class companies and educational institutions in our region to ensure the most educated workforce is ready for our future.”

The first company involved in the partnership I met with was Boeing. Its facility in Mesa, Arizona produces the Apache helicopter and supports other Boeing-related projects around the world. Boeing’s STEM-related program is called “Engineering is Elementary.” According to Boeing officials, Engineering is Elementary is a professional development program for pre-K, kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers, initially developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. It’s designed to foster students’ understanding of engineering and technology, with a goal of boosting students’ problem-solving abilities in STEM. The program, supported by Boeing grants to the Mesa School District since 2012, has impacted 530 teachers and 16,875 students in 66 Mesa schools.

“Boeing has a strategic community focus to increase teacher effectiveness in math and science and to attract more students into STEM-related careers,” said Mary Baldwin, Arizona community investor for Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship. “Engineering is Elementary provides teachers and students a greater understanding of engineering, and it accomplishes that in a fun, interactive way. Our goal is to interest students in engineering at an early age and increase the number of scientists and engineers for Arizona’s future workforce.”

I also met with Intel officials at the company’s Chandler, Arizona facility to hear about their STEM efforts. Intel invests $100 million worldwide in various educational programs, many which are STEM-related. According to Jason Bagley, Government Affairs Manager for Intel’s Southwestern U.S. region, Intel’s educational charter is “to grow engineers, but it is also about helping society become more tech literate in terms of the types of issues that people need to deal with around climate change, healthcare, and understanding how to interact with all forms of digital information.”

Intel’s Chandler STEM program is unique in that its STEM focus includes helping kids understand supply chains.
Intel Employees Cheryl Dalsin and Ken Brown founded the volunteer-based program and piloted this STEM and Supply Chain Outreach out of the Chandler facility with the intent of explaining STEM through microchip technology concepts, including “sand to silicon,” wafers and photolithography. Students build simulated silicon wafers using cookies, frosting and sprinkles.

This first pilot activity inspired Cheryl Dalsin, who is a technical program manager in Intel’s supply chain group, to incorporate concepts from her professional field of supply chain into the program. She developed hands-on activities that simulate real-world supply chain principles – source, make, deliver, reuse/recycle – as well as manufacturing challenges and STEM principles. Younger students began by making lemonade – they learned what makes a good supplier, and what happens when a supplier can’t deliver on time, or at all. They go on to build LEGO cars using a bill of materials and design constraints. They use wild cards describing good or bad scenarios that add an element of the unknown that every supply chain professional must learn to handle. The program has grown to reach more than 10,000 students in five U.S. states, three Asian countries, and is under development in Ireland.

I love the way many tech companies are backing STEM, seeing it as critical for their future. But a regional focus on education and especially STEM, like the one that is organized and promoted by the PHX East Valley Partnership, should become a model for many cities and municipalities in the U.S. to make sure we have enough STEM-educated students to meet the forthcoming demands of all types of companies around the world in the near future.

TIME apps

7 Photo-Printing Apps to Save Your Memories Forever

Photo Printing
Atli Mar Hafsteinsson—Getty Images/Cultura RF Woman taking picture with smartphone of Snaefellsnes glacier, Iceland

Because some photos deserve to be printed

The digital age is a curse of overabundance. With Netflix, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of movies, but often there’s nothing to watch. In Spotify, you can listen to practically any band you want, but you’ll mostly only enjoy a few favorite artists over and over again. And when it comes to photos, people snap thousands, but only return to look at dozens.

The problem with the digital is that it abandons the physical, turning objects we once treasured into ghosts trapped inside the machine. These seven apps will help you liberate your photos from your smartphone, turning treasured memories into memorable treasures.

One Hour Photo

Even in the age of instant gratification, getting photos developed in one hour is still a pretty magical thing. The Walgreens Mobile app connects to around 8,000 locations nationwide — so, likely one near you — to produce same day 4-by-6-inch prints for less than 30 cents. Throw in the ability to refill your prescriptions, clip digital coupons, and chat with the pharmacy staff, and you’ve got a very valuable app.

Walgreens Mobile is available for free on the App Store and Google Play

Mailed to Order

Just short of having a full-sized photo printer in your pocket, PostalPix is one of the most convenient photo output solutions going. Printing on good ol’ paper, color-popping aluminum, and the obligatory mousepad and iPhone case (at an array of prices), the service is easy to use whether you’re on iOS or Android. And by shipping prints direct to friends and family, it takes the hassle out of the act of actually sharing your pictures.

PostalPix is available for free on the App Store and Google Play

Shoot Wisely

A new take on an old experience, Disposable Camera App is a throwback to the days when you had a limited number of photos, and you had to make them all count. For $13 a pop, this app will give you 27 printed photos, just like an old disposable camera. With no previews, filters, or undos, the app is 80’s style photography at its finest, even down to the 10 business days you have to wait for the prints to come in. But on the bright side, by that point, those photos will be actual memories, and not just something that happened two weeks ago.

Disposable Camera App is available for free on the App Store

Print Like a Pro

Other than by processing their own film, how do pros get prints? Photographer Tony Northrup uses MPix, which offers 29 different sizes and three different professional-grade photo papers to make images really pop. “The first time I used them, I got rid of my big, professional grade printer that I use at home,” says the author of Stunning Digital Photography and more than 30 other titles. “I just started outsourcing it all, because it’s so much easier and cheaper than trying to do your own printing.”

MPix is available for free on the App Store and Google Play

Stamps of Approval

The USPS has long offered the ability to customize your own stamps, but 20Stamps turns the government-approved novelty into a frictionless transaction with this iPhone app interface. By no means an inexpensive proposition, the service has a 20-stamp minimum, and prices vary depending on the postage you’re buying. Still, sticking your kid’s faces on an envelope and sending it off to Grandpa — if he wasn’t a stamp collector before, he will be when the mail arrives.

20Stamps is available for free on the App Store

Buy the Book

A perfect contrast to 20Stamps, Chatbooks is taking inexpensive, printed chapbook technology and bundling it into an easy to use app. The result is a 60-page photo book for just $6. Great for holiday memories or turning a vacation into an experience that lives forever, the six inch-by-six inch books come with perfect binding, 100-pound glossy photo stock and and free shipping, making them perfect as small gifts for any reason.

Chatbooks is available for free on the App Store and Google Play

What a Mug

Prints are the easiest thing to output these days. But the others — magnets, ornaments, and yes, coffee cups — typically take a little more finagling to produce. Snapfish, which has long cornered the market on these kind of photo tchotchkes, makes it simple to get these personalized gifts through their app. The easy-to-use tap-based interface can get you an insulated travel mug, framed photo, or even an iPad case emblazoned with your favorite images. And with 100 free photo prints per month for a year (shipping charges apply), there’s no reason not to give this app a download.

Snapfish is available for free on the App Store and Google Play

TIME technology

Watch This Guy Spray-Paint His Apple Watch to Make It Gold

Casey Neistat's latest video on the latest trend

The gold Apple Watch, like the one Beyoncé was recently seen wearing, probably costs more than you’re willing to spend. Casey Neistat, a filmmaker and YouTube star, had the same thought. So instead of buying one that way, he got a little creative.

Neistat found some gold spray paint, took the straps off the watch then taped off its face and back. Then, he carefully sprayed on both sides. Afterward, when he took the tape off and put the straps back on, the difference didn’t seem too noticeable from the real thing. But perhaps he shouldn’t show it off to jewelry experts; they’re likely to see something’s not quite right.

TIME Gadgets

See What’s Inside the Apple Watch

Apple's new device has a few surprises inside

What exactly is making the Apple Watch tick? The good folks over at iFixit have answered that burning question for us by taking apart one of Apple’s new devices. They discovered that the screen and battery are fairly easy to remove but the watch’s S1 integrated computer chip, which Apple has disclosed little information about, is harder to wrench loose. Below the chip, there are hints of new health features that Apple may yet implement in the watch if they receive regulatory approval. Check out the full breakdown of the Apple Watch in the pictures above.

TIME Gadgets

Watch the New Apple Watch Commercials

"Three perfectly pitched TV ads"

Apple product launches have been known to go wrong. Servers have crashed (iPhone 3G). Mobs have thrown eggs (iPhone 4S). Line squatters have spoiled the optics (iPhone 6/6+).

There was nothing wrong with the optics Friday. Whatever is happening in the space where demand overwhelms supply is happening behind factory and firewalls, well out of sight.

What we’re seeing instead are three perfectly pitched TV ads and a queue of Parisians outside Colette on a sunny April day in Paris. AppleInsider’s Daniel Eran Dilger was there.

Things could still go bad, but so far so good.

Hats off to Angela Ahrendts, her team at Apple Retail and whoever else had a hand.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.

TIME

Anita Sarkeesian: Don’t Give Twitter ‘a Cookie’ For Their New Harassment Policy

"They're actually starting to do their jobs"

Anita Sarkeesian thinks Twitter’s improved harassment policy is a step in the right direction, but she’s not ready to give them a round of applause just yet.
“They’re actually starting to do their jobs,” Sarkeesian said at a panel at Tina Brown’s Women in the World conference Thursday. “They don’t need a cookie for that.”
She was joined by actress Ashley Judd, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon in a panel called “Taming the Trolls,” moderated by Katie Couric.
Sarkeesian said she was “impressed” with the recent steps Twitter has taken to stop harassment, noting that a response that would have taken 6 months last year now takes about 20 minutes. Still, she noted, “I’ll probably be harassed during this live-stream.”
“The method to report is staggeringly inadequate,” said actress and anti-harassment activist Ashley Judd, adding that she’d like to help solve the problem. “I’m aggravated they haven’t reached out to me, I’m low hanging fruit.”
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has been proactive about prosecuting cyber crimes, but she thinks that tech companies also have to be more responsive. “When [a victim] contacts the social media site, she thinks there’s no-one to talk to,” she said, adding that law enforcement also need to be taking these crimes more seriously. “We have to let victims know that if they report, something’s going to happen.”
Harris also emphasized that when it comes to cyber crimes and revenge porn, victim blaming is alive and well. Too often, she says, who’ve had private photos posted by a former flame without their permission are asked why they allowed the photos to be taken, as if the exposure were their fault. “It’s normal” to take intimate photos, Harris said, comparing nude selfies to racy Polaroids from the ’70s. There needs to be a conversation about prevention, Harris says, but we should be “doing it in a way that does not blame the victim.”
TIME Apple

The 1 Big Thing Holding Back the Apple Watch

Apple Watch Goes On Sale At Handful Of Boutiques Around The World
Chris McGrath—Getty Images Hajime Shimada shows off his newly purchased Apple Watch outside boutique store, Dover Street Market Ginza on April 24, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan.

Third-party apps aren't as good as they could be (yet)

The Apple Watch, Apple’s first foray in into the wearable world, is already one of the best smartwatches on the market. But there’s one big thing holding it back.

When you get the Apple Watch, you’ll find it preloaded with a suite of full-powered, Apple-made apps — Messages, Mail, Calendar and more. If those aren’t enough for you, there’s also an Apple Watch app store, already packed with third-party apps from companies like Foursquare, Uber and JetBlue.

However, those third-party Apple Watch apps have a big drawback: They aren’t “native” apps running on the Watch itself. Instead, they’re basically extensions of their iPhone counterparts, with all the code running on your iPhone while the Apple Watch displays their user interface. They also can’t actively utilize some of the Apple Watch’s hardware, like the heart rate monitor.

Read more: Behold the Glory of Unboxing a Brand New Apple Watch

What this means for you as a user is the third-party Apple Watch apps just aren’t as powerful as they could be. That’s a shame, because so much of our digital devices’ functionality comes from full-fledged third-party apps — think about how often you use Facebook or Google Maps on your iPhone.

Still, some of today’s Apple Watch apps make do with the limitations. And Apple has said developers can start making truly native apps sometime later this year.

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that Apple Watch developers can use the time between now and then to experiment and learn about how people use their Apple Watch. Plenty of today’s Apple Watch apps say “we’re here,” but they don’t offer a compelling use case for a smartwatch app (You have to cut developers some slack, though: Many haven’t gotten much, if any, time with the actual device they were coding for). With lots of Apple Watches out in the wild, developers will learn more about how people respond to them and make their apps better down the road. Some developers, however, will learn a painful lesson: What makes a great smartphone app does not necessarily make a great smartwatch app.

TIME innovations

Here’s How Wi-Fi Actually Works

200551236-002
Tim Robberts—Getty Images Young woman using mobile phone and laptop in coffee shop, smiling

For many frustrated web users, this is one of life’s great mysteries

Most computer users know little about how Wi-Fi works. In fact, one of the only things many do know is that sometimes it doesn’t. But even a little bit of background knowledge can go a long way towards making your Internet connection zip along.

Initially developed as a way to replace your ethernet cable — the cord that used to connect computers to the web after we ditched dial-up — Wi-Fi is a popular technology that provides interconnectivity between devices.

“People are probably most familiar with using Wi-Fi as a way to connect to the Internet, since for most people it’s the network they use at home or at work,” says Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa. “However, Wi-Fi has evolved and now it’s a replacement for many different cables such as video cables, audio cables, USB cables.”

But most importantly, Wi-Fi currently carries more than 60% of the world’s Internet traffic. Interestingly enough, this great achievement is basically done with radio waves, though it’s a little more complicated than your car stereo. Unlike the FM receiver in your car, Wi-Fi is essentially two radios communicating back and forth that use lower power and broadcast over a much shorter distance. These two radios let web users download data from the Internet as well as upload information — even just submitting addresses via your browser counts in this two-way communication.

Another way Wi-Fi is more sophisticated than terrestrial radio is that it uses the Internet Protocol to communicate. This language of the Internet makes Wi-Fi very resilient and very structured. “Every single transmission that we send and receive has that requirement for confirmation,” says Figueroa. “It takes a lot of investment and orchestration.” Imagine instead of sending data, you’re shipping a package across the world with request for delivery confirmation, says Figueroa. That’s what the Internet Protocol is like, only it applies to every single byte transmitted.

And once that data is flying through the air in radio waves, it’s subject to interference, victimized by everything from other Wi-Fi signals to radio waves emitted by microwave ovens to cement walls. That’s where Wi-Fi’s two frequencies, 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz, come in. Wi-Fi can broadcast on both frequencies, a benefit that helps its signal cut through all the noise and deliver a fast, strong signal from your wireless router to your computer.

“Essentially these frequencies are like two different FM radio stations,” says Figueroa. According to physics, the lower the frequency, the farther a transmission can go. With Wi-Fi, 2.4 gigahertz is the lower frequency, so it can reach computers located farther away than than the 5 gigahertz band can. But 5 gigahertz offers the capacity to carry more transmissions. “Imagine if you had a highway that went very far but it was only a one lane highway,” says Figueroa describing 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi. By comparison, 5 gigahertz Wi-Fi is a highway that doesn’t go as far, but it offers 6 lanes, so it can make traffic move faster.
“Five gigahertz Wi-Fi offers enough coverage in terms of area that it can cover the whole home,” he says. “So for most people, the distance is not really as much of an issue as the speed.”

But ever since the age of cordless phones, people have had problems with radio signals crossing. The issue continues today with neighbors and their Wi-Fi networks. One way to get around this is by setting your frequency to broadcast on a certain channel. While that sounds technical, it’s really not. Most routers are good at automatically detecting the best channel to use. And 5 gigahertz networks have many more channels than networks broadcast on the 2.4 gigahertz frequency, another reason to use the new standard, if you can.

For people who have patchy Wi-Fi, fine-tuning their network is a better idea than simply installing a network extender. “Network extenders are becoming more popular,” says Figueroa. “They’re repeaters, so they take what might be a faint signal coming from upstairs into the downstairs environment and then, essentially, they’re repeating that signal.” But the problem with these extenders is that they propel an already weak signal. So, if your wireless Internet is only transmitting at half the speed it should, the extender will repeat that signal, pushing out an even weaker signal itself. You could be standing next to the extender and have full bars on your phone or laptop because, technically, you’ve got a strong wireless signal, but your Internet speed and performance will be degraded and poor.

Wi-Fi also has a number of security features. To access the network, users must have a password for WPA2, also known as Wi-Fi Protected Access (the 2 represents the fact that this feature is in its second generation). This is where you put in your password to get onto the Wi-Fi network. There’s another security feature called Advanced Encryption Standard (better known as AES) that was developed by the U.S. government to keep data safe as it transmits from one device to the other. “Every instance of every communication that goes over Wi-Fi is exclusive in that it’s encrypted and only the two parties involved understand it,” says Figueroa.

But perhaps the most important feature of Wi-Fi is that it’s backwards compatible. This is how all your old computers are able to connect with your new, super-fast routers. “If you go buy a Wi-Fi (router) today, it works for that device you may have bought back in 2000,” says Figueroa. “There’s not too many technologies that you can say that about.”

TIME Apple

Behold the Glory of Unboxing a Brand New Apple Watch

This is what it's like to open a new Apple Watch

Apple’s long-awaited Watch is finally available. Customers who bought the device are starting to get their devices in the mail today, April 24. (The Watch is not being sold in Apple Stores.) Developers, include TIME, are releasing have rolled out apps for the device. If you’ve ordered one but not received it yet or still unsure, here’s a closer look at what comes in the box:

Cubie King for TIME; Gif by Joseph C. Lin for TIME

 

Cubie King for TIME; Gif by Joseph C. Lin for TIME

 

Cubie King for TIME; Gif by Joseph C. Lin for TIME

 

Cubie King for TIME; Gif by Joseph C. Lin for TIME

Read more: 7 Apple Watch apps you’ll actually want to use today

TIME apps

TIME Launches Apple Watch App for News

Flick through 12 of the day's biggest headlines and tap for a faster look at the news

TIME is on the Apple Watch. TIME’s new mobile app brings the latest headlines right to your wrist. An intuitive user interface allows readers to swipe through The Brief, TIME’s up-to-the-minute collection of the most important stories of the moment.

Tap a headline to open the full article on your phone within the TIME Mobile App or play the audio version of The Brief to have the news read aloud while you’re on the go. Users of the app—developed by Time Inc.’s Seattle-based mobile engineering team—can adjust the volume using audio controls on the watch, the phone or a car via the dashboard.

The Brief has more than 850,000 subscribers. Now they can get it with just a glance at the wrist. Download it here.

Don’t have the Apple Watch yet? Sign up for The Brief below.

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