This week Awesome Stories brings you better teaching, beautiful geometry, safe wind turbines, mystery and happy music.
Turnaround for Schools
After realizing the immense needs of children suffering from poverty, Dr. Pamela Cantor started Turnaround for Children. Their core mission is to mitigate the traumatic effects of stress on children’s long-term development. They use a systems approach to teaching with support for teachers, students and administrators. Children growing up in poverty need a very different environment that reduces stress, fosters connections and teaches broader life skills. Turnaround requires their partner schools to provide a full-time social worker for the program. So far, their results have been very good, with significant reductions in suspensions, severe behavioral incidents and absenteeism, along with improved math and reading test scores for schools in their second year. Dr. Pamela Cantor was recently awarded The 2014 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Impact.
Watch this gorgeous video showing the beauty of geometry in motion. It was the intro video for the TEDxSummit. Enjoy!
Embracing mystery is hard, especially when our minds and culture crave certainty. This post makes a great case for learning to embrace the mysteries and uncertainties in life. The truth is we are surrounded by mystery with vast areas of space, life and knowledge that we don’t know, although we like to pretend we do. Much of the article explores the ideas of Marcelo Gleiser, from his book The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning. In his words, if large portions of the world remain unseen or inaccessible to us, we must consider the word “reality” with great care. We must consider whether there is such a thing as an “ultimate reality.”
Raymond Green was bothered by how many birds are killed by traditional bladed wind turbines so he invented a better solution. In most turbines, large blades move at high speeds and often can’t be seen by birds, so they hit the blades and die. Raymond Green designed CWP (Catching Wind Power) units with cones to funnel the wind into an inner core that houses the turbines. This ensures the birds won’t impact the blades, plus the design is more efficient by channeling the wind. The CWPs are visible to the birds, and make virtually no noise. A company called Sigma Design is developing various sized models to bring to market. Way to go Raymond!
This article explores the wreasons that we love music. Most of us have strong emotions attached to certain songs and music, or maybe music that we love to sing or dance along with. Recently for me, that song was Happy by Pharrell Williams. If you haven’t heard it, watch the video below and get happy! 🙂 Music is a very simple, direct and effective way to boost my mood. There is a lot of research on how music can affect our brain by releasing dopamine during peaks in the music. Certain classical music like Mozart can soothe our emotions and aid learning. Music can also synchronize brain waves among listeners, especially in groups like at a concert.
Find some happy music to sing, dance, and start your Awesome Week!