IAE Blog

Information Age Education (IAE) is an Oregon not-for-profit corporation founded by David Moursund in August 2007. The IAE Blog was started in August 2010.

Underwater Robotic Miners

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Almost every day I find one or more science and technology articles that really catch my attention. David Hambling’s article about developing robots to do underwater mining certainly provides a good example (Hambling, 10/23/2017).

The problem that many mining operations face is that of water getting into a mine. The history of steam engines is intimately connected with this problem. Steam engines were first developed to pump water out of mines. Quoting from Encyclopedia.com (n.d.):

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Free Weekly Newsletter from MIT

The purpose of this IAE Blog entry is to introduce you to The Download, a free newsletter from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that I enjoy reading (MIT, n.d.). One of the interesting aspects of this free newsletter is that you can specify the areas you like to keep up with, and the weekly newsletter you receive will then focus on the topics you specify. The list of topic areas is:

Business ImpactConnectivitySustainable EnergyRewriting LifeIntelligent Machines

Samples from a Recent Issue

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In Terms of Vacuum Tube Dollars, Likely You Are a Billionaire

Most days I spend quite a bit of time browsing educational and technical websites. Today, this led me to reading about the early history of transistor radios and transistors.

The transistor was invented in 1947. In many electronic circuits such as in a radio, a transistor could be used in place of a vacuum tube (Wikipedia, n.d.a). The transistor is smaller, much more rugged, has a much longer expected life, and uses much less electric power.

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Reading and Writing in Today’s World

Written language was invented more than 5,000 years ago. Reading and writing certainly changed the world. Taken together, they facilitate the accumulation and distribution of information. Paraphrasing Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and many other researchers, “I have been able to do the work I have done because I have stood on the shoulders of the researchers who have come before me.”

The process of writing does more than just record information stored in the writer’s head. It facilitates the writer in organizing and recording the information so that it both represents the information more clearly, and that it communicates effectively with potential readers. Most good writers find it is very necessary to revise, revise, and still do more revision as they try to clearly communicate their ideas.

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The National Academies Report on Science Education

The National Academies Press is an exceedingly good source of free books and reports about a very wide range of science and engineering topics (Moursund, 2016b). This IAE Blog discusses a recent report, Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom (Beatty & Schweingruber, 2017).

The following quote describes the book:

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