Photokina 2014 highlights

Education

Aaron Sebens and his class of fourth-graders from the Central Park School for Children in ...

Aaron Sebens and his class of fourth-graders from the Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina hit Kickstarter back in March to try and raise enough money for their classroom to go off-grid. A rather modest target of US$800 was smashed within a day by the kindness of the international community and, at campaign end, the kids found themselves with the handsome sum of $5,817 to spend on the purchase and installation of a roof-mounted solar energy harvesting system. A wind turbine was added to the shopping list, and just two months later, the 208ers threw a huge "Flip the Switch" party to celebrate leaving the grid. Sebens reports that the classroom has been running on renewables ever since.  Read More

An experimental set of augmented reality glasses allow professors to see if any students a...

It must be hard for university professors ... they tell their students to shout out if they don’t understand what’s being said in a lecture, yet few students are likely to feel comfortable raising their hand in front of the class and saying “I don’t get it.” Scientists at Spain’s la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are hoping to address that situation, with a set of augmented reality glasses that let profs see who’s “not getting it,” without those students having to say so verbally.  Read More

The Faroe Islands Education Center (Image: BIG)

Danish-origin architect Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has announced that ground has been broken at the future site of its Faroe Islands Education Center, which will become something of a mega-school on Denmark's self-governing archipelago midway between Iceland and Norway.  Read More

SEED Collaborative's SEEDclassroom

SEED Collaborative has teamed up with Method Homes for the construction of what it hopes will become the first modular building to pass the Living Building Challenge. The SEEDclassroom is designed to be a portable teaching space available at short notice, and yet one which meets its own energy and water needs.  Read More

The motor of Minddrive's electric Karmann Ghia will only engage if it gets enough tweets, ...

Working with Minddrive mentors, a group of at-risk teenagers has restored a beat up 1967 VW Karmann Ghia and converted it to battery-electric power. The newly-painted and freshly-buffed vehicle will shortly begin a rather interesting journey from Kansas City to Washington. The car has been fitted with a device that monitors social network traffic relating to the project and for every tweet, like or share registered, battery juice points are generated. If there's no social buzz, the car doesn't go anywhere.  Read More

Gizmag reviews Riffstation jam software for guitar

Not too long after its launch in 2005, you'd be hard-pushed to visit any friends without being challenged to a round or two of Guitar Hero. Interest in learning to play a real guitar also blossomed, but many found the transition from guitar-shaped controller to actual instrument a difficult one, and perfectly good axes have been gathering dust ever since. Irish company Sonic Ladder has now released some interesting software called Riffstation that gives you the opportunity to break out your much-neglected guitar and play along with your favorite bands to onscreen prompts. Gizmag takes a look at what this software has to offer.  Read More

The modular Linkbot robot building platform

Though somewhat time consuming and a bit of a brain drain, robot building can also be rewarding and fun. For those just starting out, however, the prospect of simultaneously playing the roles of designer, tinkerer, programmer and troubleshooter in order to breathe life into a pile of wires, motors, plastic and metal might be just a little overwhelming. Linkbots offer a gentler learning curve with a modular platform that starts with a single working unit, and grows into more complex robots by attaching accessories and connecting other units.  Read More

Logitech's new $60 Wired Keyboard for iPad is made with students in mind

Plenty of companies build Bluetooth keyboards for the iPad, with the end goal of trying to make the tablet function more like a laptop. The problem with most of them is that they can be costly, and are not built for the rigors of student life. With this in mind, Logitech is introducing its US$60 Wired Keyboard for iPad, which offers a more reasonable price tag and an extra helping of durability.  Read More

UK architectural firm Blue Forest has revealed its plans to build a large nest-like treeho...

UK architectural firm Blue Forest, which has a background in the design and construction of luxury treehouses and lodges, has revealed its plans to build a large nest-like treehouse in the Eden Project’s Humid Tropics Biome. Located in Cornwall, UK, the Eden Project is the world’s largest conservatory, and the planned Biodiversity Nest will sit high amidst its treetops as part of a new Rainforest Canopy Walk.  Read More

From left, students Anshul Mehra, Yejin Kim and Jeffrey Kamei, with their faculty sponsor ...

Whether it’s through parents’ forgetfulness, ignorance or just plain not caring, it does sometimes happen ... small children die from heatstroke after being left unattended in a hot parked car. According to a 2012 study conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 38 such deaths occur in the United States alone each year. While various systems have been developed to help keep this from happening, three engineering undergrads from Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University have taken a unique approach. They’ve converted a Microsoft Kinect into a child-in-the-hot-car detector.  Read More

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