Courtesy of Minecraft’s Hour of Code

Keeping students engaged in the classroom is a challenge. This has become increasingly true in a virtual context and is something that I’ve had to address while teaching 4th and 5th grade students how to code. As our world becomes increasingly virtual there will be more opportunities to get distracted and fatigued by the many digital platforms and tools we’re now so reliant on. Gamification of virtual learning is a compelling approach to combatting digitally begot distraction and fatigue even as it opens up new avenues for student engagement and hybrid education.

Minecraft’s Hour of Code (HOC) is one such…

PostgreSQL is a great open source tool to setup a simple SQL database. However, PostgreSQL can be a bit finicky depending on the PostgreSQL version and the operating system of your computer. Hosting a PostgreSQL server on a Docker container makes it easy to setup multiple servers that can easily be turned on or off as well as ported to other workflows like AWS or Google Cloud. I’ll show you how to setup a PostgreSQL server that has PostGIS installed on a Docker Container (you can also watch the video tutorial I made here).

If you’re using a Windows OS…

Shoutout to seeed studio

Hardware assembly and programming can be hard. This is especially true when trying to learn remotely. An instructor over zoom and a simple Arduino kit mailed to your door make it easy.

I recently taught an intro to Arduino programming class to 4th and 5th grade students over Zoom. While developing the class curriculum I was initially worried about the challenges of students soldering, connecting sensors and gadgets incorrectly, and overall getting wires crossed. However, after some research I found out about these awesome Arduino beginner kits made by seeed studio. …

Unique learning styles require unique, hybrid approaches to education

The shift to remote learning following the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent acceleration of this trend has left parents, educators, and students struggling to fulfill their educational responsibilities. While video chat services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts provide a platform to stay connected, they are falling short of providing peripheral services that are essential for successful hybrid education in a remote world.

Of course, there are more challenges than just the platform. The diversity of technology being used for remote learning, along with the disparity of aptitudes for successfully using…

A simple guide to connect sheets with MongoDB and automate updates.

Using the ‘Stitch’ service in MongoDB not longer works since this is now deprecated and has been replaced with Realm.

I’ll show you how to connect google sheets to MongoDB and automate updates with triggers using Realm in this article (you can also watch the YouTube video I made here if you prefer video format).

The first step is to create a MongoDB account if you haven’t already. You can signup and create a free one with ~half a GB of storage.

Create a new cluster and select your…

courtesy of World Rainforest Movement

In high school I worked in the Bio-Agricultural Sciences Laboratory at Colorado State University. Lab Assistant was a misleading title, as almost all of my time was spent outdoors helping graduate students setup studies or collect data on studies aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of new kinds of herbicide and pesticide treatments. While some studies focused on identifying genes to target and others, at times, incorporated elements of sustainable agriculture (e.g. inter-crop planting), the majority were simply trying to answer the question of how effective an herbicide was and at what concentration and frequency of application.

Herbicide effectiveness is primarily…

Source: urbanNext — Earthship Biotecture: Self-sufficient and Sustainable Architecture for People and Planet

As an undergraduate at the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder I had the privilege of coordinating the EcoReps Program for two years. I curated a diversity of different volunteer and service opportunities as part of the socio-environmental focused curriculum I developed and taught to the 35+ students in the year long program. Though the curriculum was broad, over time I found myself acquiring a distinct skill set in coordinating the development of various projects and in supporting “EcoReps” to have a tangibly beneficial impacts beyond just the immediate community.

The large number of international and out of state students…

TLDR: Lobbying congress is often ineffective. Organizations should focus more of their time and resources on cultivating robust social entrepreneurship programs that can engage diverse stakeholders and innovate rapidly to address urgent public good issues.

As a young and passionate undergraduate I got involved with as many organizations focused on social and environmental issues as I could. In 2014, after working for the Udall Senate Campaign in Colorado, I joined forces with Population Connection. Their mission is simple: help empower individuals through family planning, education, and sustainability programs.

While Population Connection does this in a variety of ways, I want…

Journaling has been a transformative tool for me to organize my thoughts, practice mindfulness of my emotions and accomplishments, and to simply have a space where I can process and create in my own way.

Journaling every day is what allows me to process and achieve a more wholistic and continuous balance.

However, the extreme non-linearity and open ended-ness of this practice is less conducive to planning and actually measuring goals in a structured way.

Hence, I started another practice that I call my Day-Week-Month (DWM) journal.

It’s quite simple. …

PV Array in the U.K.

As a former solar and wind developer, I’ve experienced first hand how arduous and time consuming it can be to trace electric infrastructure with various mapping tools in order to find suitable sites for development. Once identified, the process of figuring out the parcel number, owner, and other important details like zoning and flood risk are even more challenging.

Prospecting for sites entails identifying a high number of quality parcels in a given area that meet certain criteria such as: having a slope of less than 8%, having close proximity to transmission lines and substations (typically less than 2 miles)…

Trevor Stanley

Trevor is a Data Engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Interests include Data Science, STEM education, & GIS. Learn more: www.trevorstanley.com

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