Archive for August 22nd, 2013

Early this summer, I attended the National STEM Solutions Conference in Austin, Texas. This was the second national conference focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and having been to both, I can say there was definitely a noticeable difference in theme, attendee make-up, and tone this time. It was a strong indicator that many people are taking notice of STEM education’s importance.
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For U.S. manufacturing facilities to become and stay competitive, they need to cut waste, streamline their processes, and have well-trained employees. Though there has been a significant job loss within the manufacturing sector, the overall amount of goods being produced has remained fairly constant. This is the result of an increase in automated manufacturing processes and less manual effort by employees. Read more

Here's how green energy is made.

Baotou, Mongolia, where rare earths are mined for a variety of high-tech applications, including renewable energy systems.

The old adage about how you don’t want to see how laws or sausage is made applies to so-called renewable energy. Specifically, you don’t want to know the environmental cost of all those rare earth minerals that the technology requires.

Solar energy requires components which are manufactured using lots of dirty traditional energy. The wind power industry produces a great deal of toxic waste and kills thousands of birds. Mining rare earth minerals, which are essential for so much green energy, especially wind turbines, is a dirty business.

Is it worth the cost? That depends on whom you ask. Read more

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