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STEMCAST with Dr. Reagan Flowers

The STEMcast Podcast is hosted by Dr. Reagan Flowers and is designed to inspire and advance STEM perspectives. Dr. Flowers interviews STEM + Art + Communications professionals from all walks of life and discusses the significance of C-STEM in their professional and personal life. You can expect a new episode each month with a complimentary newsletter.
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STEMCAST with Dr. Reagan Flowers
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Now displaying: October, 2015
Oct 26, 2015

Leah Hamilton French was born and raised in Cambridge, MA. The daughter of a museum professional and a craftsman, she had a lot of exposure to the arts as a child. In and out of school she immersed herself in various art forms – piano, signing, ceramics, drawing, and theater. Following her senior year of high school, French combined her love of acting with her interest in making things, competing in the PBS engineering reality show Design Squad: Season 2. In each episode, contestants designed and built solutions to engineering tasks. The best part, according to French, was learning how to use all the tools in the shop. “Before we started filming, they gave us a crash course in the design process, from drafting to test models, to final product. It was really empowering to realize, hey, if I can dream it, I can draw it, and if I can draw it, I can build it.

French attended Wellesley College, where she majored in Anthropology and French Cultural studies, and joined Teach for America shortly after commencement.  As a pre-kindergarten teacher, French found that a curriculum infused with art, math, and science was the best way to engage her young students. Painting and drawing strengthened her students’ early literacy and fine motor skills. Playing with clay and making collage developed their early math skills, like spatial awareness, pattern recognition, and naming, rotating, and tessellating shapes.

Upon moving to Houston, TX, French decided to explore a different approach to education. She worked for Writers in the Schools (WITS), teaching creative writing to young students in the Houston public schools, and loved how easy it was to bring art into those lessons. Currently, she works as a museum educator at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. She loves that her job combines several of her passions – art, specifically craft, and education. At the moment, French’s pet project is creating downloadable lesson plans that integrate craft into core subjects. “For me, because I have that experience with art, and math, and engineering, I see how they all fit together. I also have experience as a teacher, and know there are only so many hours in the day. I wanted to create a resource to help teachers easily connect art to the math, science, and language arts concepts they are already teaching. When you can find a way to tie it all together, you produce well rounded students, who then become more creative and innovative citizens.”

 For more information visit www.cstem.org

Oct 26, 2015

Ted Ellis is a world-renowned artist for the past 25 years. “I paint subjects that are representative of the many facets of American life as I know it. I like to think of myself as a creative historian." In the last 20 years, many corporations and Ellis’ private collectors continue to admire and collect his work. A few of the prominent individuals who enjoy his creations are as follows: the late Johnny Cochran, Angela Bassett, Ed Gordon, Blair Underwood, Susan L. Taylor, Bryant Gumbel, Joyce Roche, Spike Lee, and Brad Pitt. A few of the major corporations that have commissioned Ellis include: Walt Disney Studios, The Minute Maid Company, Coca-Cola, Phillip Morris, and Avon, Inc. He has also been featured on local and regional television programs, in magazines such as Upscale and Southern Living, Newsweek, and is frequently featured in newspaper articles throughout the country. His popular art images have been found on book covers and collectible prints. 

Highlights

  • Ted discusses the power of art across the board politically, socially, academically, historically, and economically.
  • It is important to understand the level of articulation art has.
  • When we create we are problem solving. An artist and a scientist are one in the same. 
  • Images are an universal language.

Success is finding a happy place for yourself; going back to your passion and service to others.

For more information visit www.cstem.org

Oct 23, 2015

C-STEM Pedagogy explores the methodology within the C-STEM arena. Dr. Flowers elaborates on the involvement of teachers and parents,  learning practices for students and what does it take to get our children excited about C-STEM. 

For more information visit http://cstem.org

Oct 23, 2015

Lorie Mitchell is the daughter of the late blues singer McKinley Mitchell. She was born in Jackson, MS and was raised in both Houston, TX and Opelousas, LA. She began writing short stories and poems at the age of 16. She attended Southern University A&M College where she majored in Mass Communications and later became the editor for several local advertising magazines in Houston. TX, such as Isispages and i10media's IX Magazine.  Almost a decade later she continued on her passion for writing by attending the Art Institute of Houston majoring in Digital Film and Video Production.

Some of her short films include; Jook Joint Blues, Slayers,  #Photobomb, which was recently created for the Houston 48 Hour Film with Christian Torres and currently she is working on an independent web series entitled Journey and a documentary for an at "risk youth" program entitled S.O.L.I.D. M.I.N.D.S. "Society of Leaders Moving In New Directions Successfully".

Lorie's film #Photobomb won the Houston 48 Hour Film Challenge Audience Favorite award. Watch "Photobomb" The 48 Hour Film Project.

Lorie summarizes success by a Jeff Johnson from CNN, the success is only the worlds way of acknowledging greatness and greatness is who we are alone. 

Oct 22, 2015

An attorney by trade, but always interested in web development and making awesome things online. Glenn is the co-founder of PopScreen.com, a video prediction website.

Technology without the insight on how to market is useless in a lot of ways.

Progress Over Perfection

Recommends joining websites such as Upwork and Fiverr to promote your basic skills, flexibility, and to make money; “once you make that first dollar online all of sudden the world changes for you.”

You can self teach yourself a lot of the skill sets the hardest part is just making sure you’re good enough to follow it through.

What do you want to accomplish? Piece together your own outline and do a Google search.

Resources;

  • Udemy
  • Lynda
  • Treehouse
  • Quora

 Success is the ability to create whatever future you want. In order to have success you have to liberate your time with resources and automate your income.

Oct 22, 2015

Jamie Robertson is a native of Houston, Texas. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Houston in 2012 and a M.S. in Art Therapy from Florida State University in 2014. She currently works at Houston Center for Photography as Outreach Coordinator. She is a member of the American Art Therapy (AATA) and serves on the Multicultural Committee. In addition she is a former recipient of AATA's Pearlie Roberson Award for her joint Frenchtown Mural project. Her personal art explores African American history and her personal genealogy and mythology. Jamie’s other interests include the implementation of art and art therapy for social change and cultural community development. Jamie hopes to use the healing and transformative properties of art to improve her community in Houston.

Success is being in a place feeling very comfortable with myself in my life. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I’m excited about it.

Oct 21, 2015

Dr. Flowers has had the privilege to know Julius since 6th grade as well as involvement with robotics. Julius graduated from Westside High School and attended the University of Texas Austin earning a degree in Electrical Engineering. For the past 2.5 years he has worked at Microsoft based in Washington.

Julius spends most days at Microsoft doing diagnostics for cloud applications, “I find problems in software before the customer encounters it.” Julius stays challenged by Microsoft hack-a-thons which creates competition and learning of new technology to apply to his profession.

Julius defines success by keep setting goals and trying your hardest to reach them.

For more information visit http://cstem.org

Oct 21, 2015

VEX Robotics works with students from elementary school to college students by developing competition challenges across the world. Karthik believes it’s all about putting great tools in kids hands and giving them an exciting challenge which will inspire them to put down the distractions of video games and social media where they are building and learning about engineering, teamwork, and all sorts of great things.

Karthik contributes robotics changed his viewpoint giving me an avenue for his competitive spirit in an educational realm, “being a part of the robotics competition is an exciting atmosphere where you wanted to succeed.” Robotics places you in real world situations with mentors, industry professionals, and how one can have a cool career.

We need people that can think critically and solve the big problems on big issues such as climate change and affordable energy. According to Karthik the Urban Nexus theme consist of health, education, and environment; “we need to change education so we can solve problems such as health-related and environmental-related.“

Karthik states that some of the challenges are resources from financial, experience, and training.

Success is defined by your own personal benchmarks and goals. Any steps you have taken towards your individual goals

Oct 20, 2015

Marc Newsome is the owner of Furious Films and has been in the industry for over ten years. 

I keep abreast of technology to remain efficient and creative. I have experience in graphic design to give my visual eye. I have experience in photography. Filmmaking is photography combined with storytelling.

I made a romantic comedy called What Friends Are For that was played in festivals. I did a short film on gentrification,  Here Comes The Neighborhood that was in a HBO Film Competition. Afterwards I was asked to do professional work. 

Challenges: Video gear, lenses, technology, and software gets expensive. As trends and visuals change you want your product to look good within reason. These days you can do great work on your phone. There are visual components in everything.

Success is when I get to the point where what I created is as good as what is in my brain.

 

 

Oct 20, 2015

Gary studied at the University of Wisconsin and obtained a Masters of Fine Arts from University of Illinois Champaign.

 

One of Gary’s biggest challenged was learning the administrative aspects to the art world; “you’re trained for the technical aspects of art, not the admin part.

 

The joy of life creeps into your art making. Gary provides good advice on experiencing life and bringing that into your art. Art can be a way for you to process what happened in life. It can be therapeutic.

 

One’s quality life can be based on happiness. Think about if you are doing something happy. As a culture, are you doing something to improve the quality of life. I don’t take it lightly that I work with metals. As a maker of objects, I hope they do not end up in the landfills. I try to use objects that do not hurt the Earth.

 

The objects around us have a story. You can have the community around you to collect and engage. Finding ways to repurpose items instead of throwing them away. Objects have something beyond what you see to the eye.

 

Success is a work in progress. I feel that I am relatively successful because I’m still doing what I setup to do and I still love it.

 

Gary is a Resident Artist at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and his currently designing a limited edition piece inspired by his kids.

Oct 19, 2015

Padma Narayan, PhD, Sr. R&D Manager outlines the intersection of various science fields that has led to her career path. Early in her career she contributed to the research and development of therapeutic pharmaceuticals. Further mentioning the technology behind our household goods, personal care items, we consume frequently.

From her youth she was challenged by her parents and teachers. Her high school chemistry teacher stated that engineering is the way of the future and it stuck with her throughout her life; " I realized I can diversify and branch off as an engineer."

 

Narayan concludes emphasizing the importance of mentorship and education. She defines success by achieving realistic goals and finding inner peace.

 

For more information visit http://cstem.org.

Oct 19, 2015

Trisha Frederick, PE, Utility Engineer for Costello Engineering, a Civil Engineering consulting firm based in Houston, TX. Trisha outlines the path to engineering from obtaining an educational standpoint and career development.

Engineering is the study of failure that creates solutions.

For more information visit http://cstem-break.ning.com/

Oct 19, 2015

Dr. Assata Richards provides great insight on the correlation between sociology and STEM on how we need to understand the problems in society; yet preparing our students to become practitioners for advancement. Dr. Richards challenges us with the following questions: 

  • What does education allow you to do for yourself? Family? Community?
  • How do you learn from the world around you?

Dr. Richards finds fulfillment by stating "I have control over contribution to the lives of others." Knowledge accumulation is key!

For more information visit http://cstem-break.ning.com/.

Oct 19, 2015

STEMCAST is a podcast designed to entertain teachers and students on CSTEM professions. Dr. Reagan Flowers interviews professionals and entrepreneurs from various walks of life on how communication, science, technology, engineering, and math play a vital role in their day-to-day lives.

For more information visit http://cstem-break.ning.com/

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