Making Science Cool Is Hard To Do

November 30, 2010

At the Prosperity Blog, we’re your one-stop source for random efforts to make science cool. A few weeks ago, we chronicled the use of cheerleaders to make science sexy. So, it’s no surprise that we’re on the case when someone is working to make science rawk (that’s how rock stars pronounce the word “rock”, as in “let’s rawk out!”).

Now, of course, in its own inimitable humor, the Prosperity Blog is poking gentle fun at these efforts because we think it’s probably going to take more than a few cheerleaders and members of the band Poison to actually get kids to want to earn STEM degrees (although technically, “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” is a botany lesson, and is specifically about stems). But it begs the question: how ARE we going to get kids interested in math and science?

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This Is the Most Annoying Article Ever Written

October 7, 2010

You know that weird old uncle who fancies himself the family comedian?  Usually his “comedy” revolves around pretending that he’s confused by the wackiness of today’s newfangled technology, as if he’s some sort of unfrozen caveman lawyer. “What’s that? You just bought an iPad?” he’ll say. “What is that, some sort of patch that pirates use?”  Often this exchange is followed by multiple elbows to the ribs and the repeated phrase, “Get it, eye pad!”

That’s exactly how I feel about this NYT article on STEM education entitled (ugh) “STEM Education Has Little to Do With Flowers.” Read the rest of this entry »


Economic Development: A Love Story

May 19, 2010

The Seattle Times this morning has a blog post on the revelation that the big news about Facebook’s new Seattle office was driven in part by love:

The story begins with Ari Steinberg, a Facebook engineering manager, and his wife, Daniela Witten, a Stanford grad student. When Witten began looking for a job teaching biostatistics, the couple decided to think about places where Facebook could someday open an office. Steinberg was going to follow Witten, thinking he could work remotely for a while. That was a possibility in Seattle, after Witten ended up landing a job this year as an assistant professor at the University of Washington. Then the company decided there was a bigger opportunity.

Absolutely a great story.  Except that it’s totally not unique. Read the rest of this entry »