Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Education

Gizmag reviews the Volta Racer solar-powered toy car

While there are already a number of solar-powered model cars on the market, Toylabs’ new Volta Racer is unique in a couple of ways – you put it together yourself, and it incorporates a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel. Although my days of playing with toy cars are behind me (sort of), my days of tinkering with things aren’t, so I decided to check out one of the sun-powered autos for myself.  Read More

The parrot-inspired Polly voice game is designed to teach poor and illiterate Pakistanis h...

For people without internet access, telephone-based services can still be an invaluable tool for things like finding jobs. Unfortunately, many poor and illiterate citizens of Pakistan simply don’t know how to use such services. In an effort to introduce them to the concepts involved, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Pakistan's Lahore University have launched a “silly phone game” known as Polly.  Read More

The Pass IT On For Good USB card erases an old computer's hard drive, and installs new edu...

What should you do with your old computer? Chances are that no one will want to buy it, but you don’t want to just throw it away – especially with e-waste being such a huge environmental concern. Recycling or donating are possibilities, but how do you know that all of your personal information is really deleted from its hard drive? Well, that’s where the Pass IT On For Good project comes in. It supplies you with a USB card that deletes all the personal content on your computer, installs educational software, and then instructs you on how to donate it for use in schools in developing nations.  Read More

Researchers have used a CT scanner and a 3D printer to create a physical model of a live r...

Researchers at Indiana’s University of Notre Dame recently placed an anesthetized lab rat in a CT scanner, created a digital 3D model of its skeleton from the scan data, and then sent that model to a commercial MakerBot 3D printer. A highly-accurate plastic replica of the skeleton was the end result.  Read More

One of the CodeSpells gnomes, that players help using spells written in Java

They say that one of the most effective ways of teaching someone a skill is to turn it into a game. Well, that’s just what a team at the University of California, San Diego have done with their CodeSpells video game – it teaches its players how to use the Java programming language.  Read More

North Carolina 4th-grade students have raised enough funds on Kickstarter to allow their c...

After looking into the pros and cons of nine methods of electricity production (including coal, geothermal, biomass, and solar), a group of 9 and 10 year-olds from Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina decided that their classroom should be powered using only energy from the sun. They hit Kickstarter at the beginning of this month with a modest funding goal of just US$800 to help finance the installation of a small PV panel array – a target that was smashed in less than a day.  Read More

The Map of the Internet app's Global view shows the state of the internet, past, present a...

Maps of the internet have been around in one form or another since the late 1990s, but most of these tend to be static, two-dimensional affairs. PEER 1 Hosting of Vancouver, British Columbia, is adding bit of depth to internet charting with its Map of the Internet app for iOS and Android devices that provides an interactive 3D representation of the online world. It’s purpose is to act as an educational tool showing the evolution of the internet from 1994 to the present, with projections going forward to 2020.  Read More

Tiggly Shapes is expected to start shipping in May

Young children love playing with shapes, whether using them to complete a puzzle, building with them, or spotting them in the real world. But, while previous generations made do with wooden shapes and puzzles, toddlers nowadays have an iPad alternative. Tiggly Shapes is a set of four shape toys which interact with the iPad screen through a series of custom apps.  Read More

The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit lets users raise plants and filter their aquarium's water at ...

The folks at the non-profit ECOLIFE Foundation are dedicated to providing, as they put it, “ecologically sustainable water, food, and shelter to communities through education applied programs.” Part of this mandate involves the promotion of community aquaponics projects – systems that symbiotically combine aquaculture and hydroponics. Now, the group is bringing scaled-down aquaponics to classrooms and homes, in the form of its ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit for aquariums.  Read More

The Thinkpad X131e Chromebook from Lenovo

Lenovo has announced a rugged laptop designed specifically for the education sector. The system runs on Google's Chrome OS and depending on its reception, could spell bigger things for the future of Google's browser-based operating system.  Read More

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