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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

crowdfunding techshop Chandler - DSCN1673-1024x768

Author: Tishin Donkersley, M.A, http://www.aztechbeat.com, April 15, 2015

Maker space TechShop Chandler, served as the setting for Governor Doug Ducey as he signed HB bill 2591, an intrastate crowdfunding bill where small businesses and entrepreneurs will be able to sell equity in their company over the Internet and receive funding from the general public. This bipartisan Bill provides exemptions from state statutory registration requirements for certain securities transactions. http://aztechbeat.com/2015/04/equity-crowdfunding-is-open-in-arizona

PhotoCourtesy: AZ Tech Beat:

Photo Caption: Shown here: Steve Zylstra (left), Governor Ducey (Center)


Submitted By: ASU Biodesign Institute, April 2015

All living things—from dandelions to reindeer—evolve over time. Cancer cells are no exception, and are subject to the two overarching mechanisms described by Charles Darwin: chance mutation and natural selection. Study of the evolution of blood-borne cancers like leukemia is providing new insights for diagnosis and treatment.

In new research, Carlo Maley, PhD., and his colleagues describe compulsive evolution and dramatic genetic diversity in cells belonging to one of the most treatment-resistant and lethal forms of blood cancer: acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Read More Here: http://biodesign.asu.edu/news/cancers-relentless-evolution


Carlo Maley, researcher, ASU’s Biodesign Institute;  associate professor, School of Life Sciences
Photo by: Michelle Saldana: The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University

1beez (3) ASUS BLOG APRIL 2015

Submitted by: Arizona State University

Have you heard the buzz? Thanks to Phoenix’s rising temperatures, it’s bee season – and many residents are coming into contact with these complex creatures.

Fortunately, Arizona State University Provost Robert E. Page Jr. is a bee expert and has some fun facts to share.

  1. China produces the most honey in the world

China is by far the dominant honey producer at more than 430 million tons in 2012. In the U.S., there are more than 2.74 million colonies producing honey and the value of the U.S. 2014 honey crop stands at more than $385 million. North Dakota tops the charts in U.S. honey production.

  1. Bee colonies can be rented

According to the National Honey Board, the first colony rented out to help pollinate crops was in 1909. Bees are linked to agricultural crop production valued at $19 billion in the U.S. The California almond crop is entirely dependent on honeybee pollination and involves more than 1 million colonies of bees. ASU has developed a startup Pollen-Tech through the Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative to help pollinate crops.

  1. Honeybees aren’t native to the Americas

Honeybees were brought by European settlers during the 1600s. Europeans had developed techniques for managing bees and these so-called European honeybees were attractive because they could be kept in hives. Some Native American tribes called honeybees “the white man’s flies,” because the arrival of bees often heralded the encroachment of settlers.

  1. Africanized bees came to the US from Brazil

The Africanized honeybees were brought to Brazil and crossbred with European honeybees. It was thought they could better tolerate the hot tropical climate in South America. Several of these Africanized colonies escaped, swarmed into the Brazilian jungle and hybridized with local European colonies. Over the years, these colonies have been spreading northward, arriving in the U.S. in 1990 and Arizona in 1993.

Visit Research Matters to see the rest of the list! The first person known to study bees was Aristotle. He was curious about how they divided their tasks and organized their activities.

Photo by: Charles Kazilek


Por Carmen Cornejo, Coordinadora de Relaciones Hispanas, Arizona SciTechFest

Los padres jugamos un papel importante en guiar a nuestros hijos para que ellos tengan un buen desempeño escolar.

Nuestras actitudes positivas o negativas hacia las matemáticas también son transmitidas. Como padres debemos fomentar una actitud positiva hacia las matemáticas, la ciencia, la tecnología e ingeniería-lo que se conoce en inglés como STEM- y colaborar con nuestro granito de arena a que desarrollen todo su potencial.
Varias organizaciones e iniciativas han desarrollado guías para que los padres fomenten las matemáticas con sus hijos a varios niveles escolares. Me encontré esta guía en la internet. ¡Lee este folleto y ponlo en práctica! SIGUE LA LIGA.


Guest Author: Carmen Cornejo, Hispanic Outreach Coordinator, Arizona SciTech Festival

Parents play an important role guiding their children to achieve great academic performance at school.

Our attitudes, positive or negative towards Math, are transmitted and shape our children outlook. As parents we must strive to construct positive attitude toward science, technology, engineering and math- STEM and put our part in the education process.

Several organizations and agencies have developed initiatives for parents to get them interested and engaged into STEM so the students can be motivated.  I found this guide that suggest activities and guides for Spanish speaking parents. Please share it with your friends!

Follow this link!

 Artwork Accepted Through April 27!

COLORING CONTEST ARTWORK - IMG_2407 (3) If you, a friend or family member enjoy expressing their creativity through creative arts, put your creativity to the test and complete the **Famous Gecko’s Art & Coloring Contest**. With a **new deadline extension of April 27**, we have four age category winners – 18 and Over, 12 – 18, 17 – 6 – 11, and 5 & Under.

Winning artists’ work to be entered into a year-long rotating tour throughout multiple cities in Arizona, a story and press release will be created on the winners along with a public acknowledgement at the Festival’s annual Appreciation Event. This year’s winners to be introduced with their artwork on May 5, 2015, at the Pera Club in Tempe. **To Download a copy of the Famous Gecko two-sided form and where to submit, follow this link**: [http://azscitech.com/coloring-contest/](http://azscitech.com/coloring-contest/)

Coloring Contest Artwork3

Prescott SciTechFest 3 (3)

Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Prescott is historical. The city is known for its Victorian style homes and it has 809 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The city was also once the capital of the Arizona Territory before Phoenix became the capital in 1889. Located in Yapavai County, Prescott is a destination for people in the Valley who want to escape from summer heat. Who’s not mesmerized by the beauty of the Granite Dells, the geological feature surrounding Watson Lake?

But that’s not all. More importantly, when it comes to education, the city is as significant as other cities in Arizona. Prescott is home to the world-renowned Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, where many of the nation’s top aeronautical scientists and engineers are trained. And this year, the city takes another turn to celebrate the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by doing its second annual Prescott Regional SciTech Fest. Last year, the first annual took place in conjunction with the Prescott Sesquicentennial Celebration, and it was a success.

“The event provides an opportunity for schools, industry, and organizations in the Prescott area to showcase their innovation, technology, and the interesting STEM-related activities taking place in the community,” says Department Chair Applied Aviation Sciences James Curtis, Ph.D, who’s also the Co-Chair of the Prescott Regional SciTechFest.

School-aged kids need constant inspiration. They have to always be encouraged that STEM is important. It is important for educators to create a STEM-friendly culture. This event has a mission to promote a culture that celebrates and embraces education, research, collaboration, innovation, and economic growth in the Prescott region related to STEM and arts.
“The event inspires young minds and helps to interest them in a future career in STEM,” Curtis explains. To get to young minds, the event provides a fun and learning experience for all ages, and even the chance to earn prizes!

“The most interesting part about the event is the many industry sponsored booths and student science/art displays at the event,” Curtin says. From City of Prescott, APS, Children Museum Alliance’s, various schools in the region, Prescott Astronomy Club to Universal Helicopters and many more, they’re all tied together to celebrate STEM.

So, for you who want to inspire young minds, mark your calendar and come to the event. Bring your curiosity with you, because at the event you can learn, have fun, and be inspired. Take a chance, and enjoy the free ride.

“We expect an inquisitive mind and an adventurous attitude,” Curtis adds. If you think you have that in you, why not take it to the place where it belongs!

Prescott Regional SciTechFest takes place on 17th and 18th of April 2015, at the Prescott Gateway Mall.

April 6, 2015

Dear Educator:

Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) provides opportunities to help schools utilize STEM activities to improve student achievement and better prepare students for college and careers.  One such opportunity is in the support and networking of out-of-school STEM Clubs.  Over the past three years, SFAz has assisted in the creation of STEM Clubs in schools throughout the state.  This has included developing an online STEM Club Guide, coordinating the two Annual Arizona STEM Club Conferences, and providing seed funding for the creation/expansion of over 200 STEM Clubs across the state.

To continue this process, we are hosting the 3rd Annual Arizona STEM Club Conference at the Memorial Union at Arizona State University in Tempe on Monday June 8, 2015 from 8:30am – 4pm.

This free conference is open to all public schools in Arizona with whole district participation encouraged.  Each interested school may send two representatives (administrators and/or teachers) to this event as space allows, where they will:

  • Choose from breakout sessions on topics such as Project Based Learning, Increasing STEM Interest in girls and minorities, STEM and the Arts, and many more,
  • Learn from existing STEM clubs how and why they started their clubs, how these clubs operate, and what their benefits and challenges have been,
  • Explore products and activities ranging from robotics to distance learning activities suited for incorporating STEM into schools both in clubs and into classrooms.

Each school may send up to 2 participants, as space allows, using the following link to register each participant: http://stem.sfaz.org/STEMClubConfRegister  PLEASE REGISTER EACH PARTICIPANT SEPARATELY.

Registration will be open until April 30, 2015.  However again space is limited, therefore please register your participants as soon as possible to assure your space at this event.

Please note: we have limited funds dedicated to hotel accommodations for the evening of June 7th.  These funds are reserved for participants who travel in excess of 100 miles, and will be provided on a first come first serve basis.  Please indicate your mileage on the registration form to determine eligibility.

In addition, all schools who attend will have the opportunity to apply for STEM Club seed funding provided you agree to  (1) start/expand a STEM Club in August,  (2) use the SFAz STEM Club model and guidelines, (3) provide input into our ongoing assessment of STEM Clubs during the 2015-2016 school year, and (4) acknowledge SFAz’s support of your STEM Club on your school’s website.  Additional information on this opportunity will be provided at the conference.

For more information on this event, please contact Stephaine Frimer at sfrimer@sfaz.org.


John Kriekard, Ed.D. Director of Education

Science Foundation Arizona

1SFAZ Conference Flyer


Guest Author: Rita Standerfer, writer, AZ SciTech Festival 

Due to popular demand, the ARIZONA Sports Fan Expo is back!  On Saturday, April 18th, 2015, Westworld North Hall in Scottsdale, will host this 2nd annual sports extravaganza! Find great deals at the Sports Card and Memorabilia Center and win tons of contests and prize giveaways. It is an all-day fun-filled event, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

SPORTS EXPO4Visit the AZ SciTech Science of Sports Pavilion. This is a grand opportunity to learn all about STEM in sports. Arizona SciTech Festival is a sponsor of this event and will presenting: Ask the Umps; Sports Medicine Tips; The Science of Dance Movement, featuring The Bracken School of Iris Dance; Pitching Tunnels, measuring your throws; Ask the Master of Martial Arts; and much more.  It’s a get up and get moving event where athletes and enthusiasts of every sport come together to learn, participate, share, and shop.  This is the perfect opportunity to visit hundreds of exhibits under one roof to learn about the newest products on the market.

There’s so much to do!

Watch our city’s finest police officers and firefighters compete in an all and out wing eating battle of the wills. Enjoy putting around with pro golfers.  Take part in mini-clinics in basketball, football and soccer. Watch a martial arts demonstration. Learn all about umpire secrets. Get a lesson in survival and lifesaving techniques for handling medical emergencies when biking, rafting, rock climbing, scuba, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Hop up on the stage to join the Irish dancers from Bracken Irish School of Dance.  Chat with a champion motorcycle racer. Try your hand with Handle Fitness, from KinectTM, a motion-based video game that tracks the movement of your body and every bounce of the ball as you dribble to the beat of the soundtrack. Now that’s science, technology, engineering in math all in one!

SPORTS EXPO3Representatives will be on hand from: Cardinals, Suns, Mercury, Arizona United.  Alumni players, cheerleaders, and mascots will be on hand for free autographs and photos. Find out what is going on in sports with Arizona universities.

Shoppers out there should be sure to check out the sports and fan gear at the marketplace.  Be witness to the Native Grill & Wings World Wing Eating Championship.  And if wings are not your thing, don’t worry. There will be plenty to eat for every appetite in the food truck court.

Tune in for the LIVE AUCTION!  Bidding starts at $10. Registration and Item preview will be from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and auction will be held from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
For complete terms and conditions of the Sale, please visit https://americanauctionco.com/

For more information go to: http://www.azsportsfanexpo.com


Guest Author:  Theodore “Ted” C. Kraver, Ph.D.

Over two decades ago Michael Moe, now of CFA of GSV Media (gvsmedia.com), started writing about the long range systemic issues of education.   We have been building on each other’s ideas ever since. His Nov 23, 2014 issue of “A 2 Apple” compares our health care industry to our education industry and is the source of most of following data/info.

In the early 1960s health care and education had about 6% each of gross domestic product (GDP).  These GDP levels were large but there was little investment in what was a cottage industry with weak technological innovation and wide variance in quality and quantity of service. Both were inefficient in serving the needs of their clients but, health care was ready to change all that.

By the mid-1970s, because of my bio-medical company,  I was on a task team in Washington designing regulations that brought higher professionalism with requirements of proving “safe and effective” to the medical device industry.  At that time, average less than $5 million (2014 constant $) was spent on research to bring a new drug to market. The health care industry had grown to 8% of GDP with 2% of capital markets but it was still capital light and a cottage industry.  By 2014, focusing on cost and outcomes the healthcare industry has tripled in size to 18% of GDP with over 400 companies with market caps of over $1 Billion. Total federal and corporate research is over $100 Billion. The technology and markets are ubiquitous and the gap of care between the disadvantaged and advantaged populations has closed significantly.

Unfortunately the 2014 education industry is still at 8% GDP but there is some indication that transformative innovation has begun to close the education gaps between disadvantaged students and advantaged students. Education is still technology light, a cottage industry, and only has 0.4% of capital markets. The market value of the top four education companies is less than a third of the 10th largest healthcare company.  Research investment is about 1% of healthcare. Healthcare focusing on costs vs. outcomes has pretty much completed the heavy investment phase of its transformative innovation cycle and is expected to decrease its consumption of GDP to 12% by 2025 as efficiencies of STEM kick in.

If education is going to accelerate up the innovation curve then it has to change its traditional focus on non-profits vs. profits and refocus its future on cost vs. outcomes. The STEM based education industry and federal research investments must break out of the mid-20th century doldrums to recreate education with a 21st century model. The physical infrastructure is leading the transformation.  Schools are at 50% PC computers and internet connections now. By 2025 along with broadband connectivity, should be in the 90% range.  The all up current cost is approximately $10,000 per student.  All it takes is for Arizona to invest about 5% more on physical infrastructure. The additional cost for intellectual infrastructure of educator salary increase to a professional level, educator education and training, and digital curriculum would be about 10%.

As with healthcare the cost of investments will climb until the outcomes are secured and then start to drop as the outcomes payoff with much higher efficiency and effectiveness.  The payoff for education is the significant decreases in dropouts and increases in college/work ready graduates as new STEM enabled pedagogy is used to serve the needs of individual students.

For healthcare it was the investment of increasingly effective STEM developed pharmaceuticals, testing and data systems whose investment cost drove medical GDP from 8% to 18%. Cost savings outcomes are expected to drive  it back to 12% by 2015. I doubt that education will have a shorter innovation cycle. If healthcare takes the five decades then the forecast for educational utopia is for 2060!  But governance policy and investments have the power accelerate the transformation.  Maybe if Arizona decides to redefine educators as part of our STEM workforce we can reach the goal a decade earlier.