The latest from Connect a Million Minds.
CAMM Day Shows BGCA Kids the STEM Behind Their Favorite TV Shows
All last week, families buzzed throughout the various exhibits of TWC Studios, going behind-the-scenes of their favorite shows in a series of interactive, hands-on displays. This incredible effort was proof positive of Time Warner Cable’s commitment to quality entertainment, but for all the appeal of the Iron Throne or the high-seas swashbuckling of Black Sails, entertainment itself is nothing without the context of a quality education. To close out the week, TWC invited more than 300 students from the local Boys & Girls club to join our Connect a Million Minds Day, an exciting display of the lessons to be found in each thrilling exhibit.
Brought to life by the New York Hall of Science in conjunction with numerous network partners, Connect a Million Minds Day attendees participated in fun, hands-on learning activities that demonstrated the STEM behind popular TV shows and networks. Students marveled at the degree to which science, technology, engineering and math factor into their favorite subjects, finding educational examples in the worlds of sports, music and cooking.
Of course, they were taught by two of entertainment’s finest as Food Network personality Chef Anne Burrell and NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz took the stage. “Connect a Million Minds Day helps demonstrate the science behind the things we do every day,” said Burrell. “As a chef, I know that science and math aren’t just subjects in school. They are crucial to the process of creating beautiful and delicious food.”
“I’ve made it my personal mission to help the next generation understand the importance of taking an interest in subjects like math and science,” said Cruz to the crowd of enthusiastic students.
Throughout the afternoon, the kids were involved in STEM lessons ranging from the very simple to the impressively complex. At the Food Network booth, students learned how to harness the energy from everyday ingredients, powering clocks and LED lights with anything from baking dough to potatoes. At the Vikings exhibit, a handful of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and marshmallows demonstrated the physics behind the Medieval catapult. For the young athletes in attendance, ESPN showed off the careful engineering of protective sportswear. Black Sails illustrated how to create your own, homemade sailing equipment while the folks at the new 24-hour music channel Revolt used simple microphones to transform almost any household object into a playable instrument.
Things got a bit more high-tech, however, over at Game of Thrones where the kids were able to ascend the iconic Wall thanks to a virtual reality head-set. As if proving just how plugged-in even the littlest of children can be these days, one of the students – only seven or eight years old – was able to correctly identify the tech as the Oculus Rift, one of today’s most talked-about advancements in interactive gaming. And thanks to our friends at al Jazeera America, the students were given an eye-popping demonstration of a state-of-the-art Ekso suit, a robotic tool currently being used to restore balance and mobility to the paralyzed and disabled. The woman presenting – paralyzed from the waist down for more than two decades – stood and walked with relative ease thanks to two smart-crutches. These devices read the shifting of her weight and communicated her intentions back to the suit. In turn, the motorized skeleton helped to guide her limbs, keeping her upright and moving forward in slow, careful steps.
After a lot of enthusiastic Iron Man comparisons, the kids were asked what improvements they could think to make the suit. “Lasers!” screamed a few. “Jetpacks!” chanted another. But when a single hand shot up in the crowd, the answer sent the room into hysterics. “I have a practical suggestion,” insisted the boy. “Cup holders!”
Overall, the day was filled with laughter and learning, illustrating to the children that even their favorite TV programs can be filled with useful STEM lessons.