Building Friendships in a Makerspace

first_imgThe STEM Music Academy at 30 Monmouth St. is billed as a “makerspace” by founder and owner Kevin M. Patrick. RED BANK – Wall-to-wall PCs stocked with the latest design software, Oculus Rift VR and eSports gaming stations and a fully developed live music performance space are just part of the allure of the technological wonderland recently launched in the heart of the borough. It’s place where local students can gather after school and on weekends to collaborate with peers on various types projects in assorted mediums, while utilizing the facility’s state-of-the-art equipment. “If you’re a member, this is your playground. You can use everything we have to offer. Parents love that this is a space where there kids can be dropped off and feel safe to explore and experiment with different educational technology and make friends in the process.” According to Patrick, as well as entertainment value, the academy is a space where kids can receive assistance with homework assignments, training in gaming, eSports, music performance, mathematics, digital engineering and STEM learning courses. Patrick said his time working with students helped him conceive the idea for this modern community center, but it was when he began observing the opportunities – or lack thereof – available to his own children that he felt an urgency to bring the vision to life. “My career path has allowed me work with kids and I don’t think it’s any surprise that a lot of them feel alone. They feel caged up. They’re dealing with a lot of different things in their lives with no outlet to express that,” said Patrick. “There needs to be a peer group and a place where that group can share common interests. We offer that, and a staff that is going to take them around, keep them engaged and educate them.” “My 9-year-old has grown up with a touch screen in his hands. My 4-year-old has some trouble making friends because he’s been exposed to so much at an early age, in terms of technology, that it’s hard for him to find common ground,” Patrick said. “The dynamic of today’s culture and kids is not what it was like when we were growing up, but the emotional needs haven’t changed. And unless it was sports or video games or their phones, my kids had no place to turn for that social interaction.” “Our version of the makerspace is one that focuses on community and collaboration. We want kids to come here and not only share ideas, but learn how to develop those ideas together. This is our version of the modern community center,” said Patrick. The STEM Music Academy is located at 30 Monmouth St. in Red Bank, in the former Monmouth Music store. With a background in educational technology investment and partnership strategy, and a music industry career that allowed him to share the stage with local Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Debbie Harry and Blondie from 2003-2007, Patrick had an epiphany last year while teaching private music lessons in Rumson. “These kids are coming in and they’re not learning as much as they can because a lot of the lesson is them opening up and talking to me about their lives. They’re telling their parents it’s the best lesson they ever had, when really it’s therapy,” Patrick explained during a Nov. 29 interview with The Two River Times. “These kids don’t need to learn music or how to work with technology. It’s more important that they establish friendships. But music and technology can be a great facilitator of that.” The academy is currently running two special enrollment offers, including a three-month membership for $399 and a one-month registration for $150. But for Patrick, the space is an opportunity to provide a resource for the Two River-area youth that is more impactful than a piece of technology ever could be. The academy also offers additional music industry courses, like DJ lessons, songwriting workshops, ensemble development and musicology, as well as virtual reality experiences like problem solving on the space shuttle, and Friday evening teen nights with music, dancing and gaming. Located in the former Monmouth Music storefront, Patrick officially opened the doors to the academy Nov. 1 and said enrollment has increased over the past five weeks as more students and parents have experienced this intersection of educational technology, art and collaborative spirit in a semi-structured setting.last_img read more

NEBC Yukon Trackers on the road this weekend to Whitecourt

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Northeast B.C. Yukon Trackers are on the road this weekend as they visit the Whitecourt TRAC Wolverines.The last time these teams had met was at two home games in Fort St. John in early November.In the first game, the Trackers beat the Wolverines 5-4 and then in game two the Trackers won that game 7-6.- Advertisement -Currently, in the Bouchier Division, the Trackers are still standing at a strong first place with 39 points, while this weekend’s opponents, the Wolverines, are sitting in last with 17 points.Current Bouchier Division Standings as of January 25. Source NAHLGame one goes this Saturday, January 26, at 3:15 p.m. and game two takes place on Sunday, January 27, at 10:45 a.m. Both games are taking place in Whitecourt.Advertisementlast_img read more

Stadiums ‘on track’ for 2010

first_imgLocal Organising Committee CEO DannyJordaan said the recent 2010 stadiuminspection tour showed that construction isprogressing well and plans are on trackfor all facilities to be completed by the endof 2009. (Image: Nicky Rehbock)A countrywide inspection tour of the five newly built 2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums and the upgraded Soccer Citystadium in Johannesburg has revealed that preparations are on track for all venues to be completed by the end of 2009.The World Cup, which kicks off on 11 June 2010 for the first time ever on African soil, will be played out in 10 stadiums, in nine South African cities.The newly built facilities are Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, Durban Stadium in Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.In addition to Soccer City, the existing stadiums which have been revamped for 2010 are Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg and the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.“This has been a very fruitful inspection tour for us,” said Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief competitions officer Derek Blanckensee, who led the team of 50 experts on the round trip along with Ron Delmont, head of Fifa’s South African office.During the tour the delegates also inspected the team hotels and allocated training sites in each host city.“Where before we had to visualise walls and seats, we now have been able to walk around freely in the stadium as it will be during the tournament,” Blanckensee added.In most cases the physical construction of the stadiums is virtually complete, with almost all seats installed and pitches freshly laid.“Overall we are very impressed with the achievements made. In addition to the stadiums coming together, we were equally pleased that the LOC, host cities and Fifa are working on a common vision on the delivery of the event,” said Delmont.The tour comprised operational experts in the areas of competitions, broadcasting, media operations, medical expertise, volunteering, transport, logistics, safety and security, protocol, marketing, information technology, hospitality, ticketing and risk management.For the first time the inspection delegation also included a consultant from the South African Disability Alliance to oversee the provisions made for disabled spectators. Of the 650 527 tickets sold to date for next year’s tournament, 7 863 have been for wheelchair-bound fans.Paying tribute to the host cities, LOC CEO Danny Jordaan said, “They have all done us proud. They have ensured that their wonderful new stadiums are built to the highest standards and are ready in time.“The question has always been raised as to whether we will be ready. This tour has provided ample evidence that indeed we will be. Now the work of the LOC and Fifa begins in earnest as we take these stadiums and get them ready to host World Cup matches.”This type of preparation entails setting up temporary infrastructure required to stage the tournament, such as stadium media centres, hospitality areas and accreditation centres.“We can be happy as South Africa that we are in a good place now. In comparison to our own timelines as to where we should be, we are comfortable we have done very well,” Jordaan said.last_img read more

South Africa gets new gem-polishing plant

first_imgMatla Diamond Polishing Plant opened anew plant in the Eastern Cape that willboost South Africa’s diamond industry (Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zwelakhe Sisulu Matla Innovation Company +27 11 245 7900 RELATED ARTICLES • Kimberley goes for gold • Mercedes-Benz SA tops for quality • Business school to expand in Africa • Record price for SA diamondNosimilo Ramela South Africa will soon be able to process more of its own diamonds, thanks to the new Matla Diamond Polishing Plant in the Eastern Cape province.Speaking at the launch of the East London-based facility on 28 July 2010, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said: “As a department, we want value added to our raw materials, making sure that our people get jobs and contribute to the economic activity of the country.”The R102-million (US$13.9-million) project is a partnership between Matla Beneficiation Company, the East London Industrial Development Zone, the Industrial Development Corporation and Gold Eastern Holdings of China.The automated plant is equipped with technology worth R35-million ($4.7-million) from China, and is expected to be eight times more efficient than a similar-sized manual operation.It will produce a maximum of 20 000 carats a month – this translates to R100-million ($13.6-million) in monthly revenue, according to the current market environment, said Matla Group executive chairperson Zwelakhe Sisulu.In 2009 a US news channel msnbc reported that India spent R73 ($10) per carat in polishing and cutting diamonds, while China spent R124 ($17) and South Africa R438 ($60). The new plant hopes to spend between R183 and R292 ($25 and $40) per carat in the first year, and match China’s figures in the next five years.Employment opportunitiesMatla Group CEO Chia-Chao Wu said the company plans to train 150 to 200 South Africans to become cutters and polishers. At the moment there are 25 previously disadvantaged individuals from the Eastern Cape employed at the plant. A further 120 skilled job opportunities are expected to be created over the next two years and more than 500 in the next five years.Shabangu said government welcomed the initiative to source and train employees locally.“I’d like to see this process of training translated into professionalism – a professionalism where these young people will be able one day to open their own factories,” she said.The Matla Group has employed 25 Chinese nationals on a two-year contract to train local staff in diamond polishing.“We really are going with great gusto into what we see as the knowledge economy, because in the world now, if you want to be competitive you have to have knowledge, skill and discipline as the basis,” Sisulu said.Plant to make SA more competitiveOnly 2% of local diamonds are currently processed in South Africa, with the remainder mainly being sent to non-diamond producing countries in the East. Sisulu said this was unfortunate.Mcebisi Jonas, of the Eastern Cape’s Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, agreed: “While South Africa remains a leading diamond producer, there is very little local polishing of rough stones. The bulk of these are exported for further polishing in countries such as India and China.”This joint venture, together with the latest technology, will go a long way in increasing the country’s competitiveness in the diamond-polishing industry, he said.last_img read more

Dairy aid helps, but not enough

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs to better reflect the dairy-farm incomes lost to tariff retaliation when it calculates its next round of trade mitigation payments, the said today.In a letter sent Tuesday to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, National Milk Producers Federation Chairman and dairy farmer Randy Mooney cited four studies illustrating that milk producers have experienced more than $1 billion in lost income since May, when the retaliatory tariffs were first placed on dairy goods in response to U.S. levies on foreign products. In contrast, the first round of USDA trade mitigation payments, announced in August, allocated only $127 million to dairy farmers.“We are ever-grateful for your advocacy on agricultural trade, which is crucial to the economic health of our industry,” wrote Mooney, who operates Mooney Dairy in Rogersville, Missouri, with his wife, Jan. “However, our members are greatly concerned about the level of aid that was provided in the initial effort.”The letter details four analyses, including two independent studies using sophisticated economic modeling, that each show losses to dairy producers far above USDA’s initial payment level.NMPF analyzed the CME dairy futures-based milk prices through the end of 2018, based on the settlement prices in late May, just before retaliatory tariffs were announced, with those same prices after tariffs had been thoroughly incorporated into market expectations.  The expected impact of the retaliation may result in roughly $1.5 billion in lost revenue for producers during the second half of 2018.USDA’s own monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) showed a drop in its forecast milk prices for the full 2018 calendar year of $0.70/cwt., after the imposition of the tariffs. The WASDE estimate amounts to a loss in dairy farm income of $1.5 billion for the year.An Informa Agribusiness Consulting study estimated that the tariffs would lower U.S. dairy farm income by $1.5 billion for the full year 2018.The Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University, estimated an annual loss of $1.17 billion.“These estimates show that farmer losses from the tariffs will notably exceed $1 billion in 2018,” Mooney wrote. “Significant income losses will continue” if tariffs imposed by Mexico and China — two of the largest dairy export markets for the United States — remain in place.Perdue has said a second trade mitigation payment to producers may be made this year, after additional calculations of farmer losses.“We are eager to work with you on a plan that better reflects the struggles dairy producers across the country have faced due to the tariffs,” Mooney wrote. “Thank you for considering the critical implications of these trade challenges for us as dairy farmers and cooperative owners.”last_img read more

Taken for Granted: The Effect of Traumatic Brain Injury on Sense of Identity and Family Relationships

first_imgmilitraryfamilimiliBy: David Lee Sexton, Jr.Pixabay [Brain Biology by Geralt , CC0]Not Just a Problem on the Football FieldAccording to Knock (2017), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to an injury in which something impacts an individual’s head, which many may not inherently recognize as what is commonly known as a concussion. The difference in nomenclature between these two synonymous words may lead some to perceive a concussion as something far less serious than a TBI. However, Knock clarifies that a concussion is a TBI, and there are varying grades of TBI ranging from Grade One to Grade Three. Furthermore, 80% of TBI are considered Grade One, or mild, yet even a mild TBI can result in chronic problems. Interestingly, Knock points out that TBIs can manifest vastly different symptoms depending on the part of the brain which sustains the brunt of the impact.This phenomenon has been brought to public attention recently through the film, Concussion, which examines the discovery of the relationship between TBI and mental health problems in professional football players. However, athletes are not the only ones prone to a higher risk of sustaining TBI, as combat veterans are also at higher risk due to injuries, such as blast injuries that affect the brain through tearing of the axons at a microscopic level (Knock, 2017). These types of injuries are even more sinister, as they are often not detectable through common brain scanning measures, such as MRI (Knock, 2017).Loss of IdentityIn a brief anecdote, Knock (2017) demonstrates the insidiousness of TBI by relaying the story of one veteran’s struggle to accomplish something many of us take for granted: packing a lunch. After being caught in an IED, she suffered damage to her parietal lobe. This resulted in disturbances with her visual and spatial reasoning that made her unable to even select the right size container to hold a packed lunch. With the added struggle of completing tasks that were once effortless, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of self, which leaves one vulnerable to further struggles with chronic depression as new limitations are being discovered.Impact on FamiliesSome of the most profound limitations TBI can impose on an individual will be family-related. Depending on severity, TBI can change familial roles so drastically that one individual’s spouse may become a caregiver in an instant (Knock, 2017). In this case, feelings of loss and frustration will likely affect both individuals. Knock (2017) provides an example of how drastically family dynamic can change through the act of caring for children. After suffering a TBI, a parent may no longer be able to safely watch over his or her children, due to potential memory or attention problems. This not only represents an enormous loss for the parent suffering the TBI but may cause additional strain for his or her partner due to the new responsibility of caring for both children and spouse. Again, this brings to light the impact TBI can have on things that people often take for granted, and demonstrates the influence something like a “bump on the head” can have on a person’s life and well-being.Want to Learn More?To learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury and its effects on families, please take some time to watch the MFLN Family Development Team’s free, archived webinar presented by Heidi Knock, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dr. Knock provides individual, marital, and group psychotherapy to Veterans and their families. She also treats individuals on the polytrauma unit and the inpatient rehabilitation unit who have a combination of complex mental and physical health issues, such as Traumatic Brain Injury, chronic pain, amputation, and posttraumatic stress disorder.Also, get social with us on Facebook and Twitter to learn about more great content, webinars, and free CEU opportunities in the future.ReferencesKnock, H. (2017). Gray Matters: Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury’s impact on families. MFLN Family Development. Retrieved from: https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/event/27283.This post was written by a member of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.last_img read more

10 months agoMan City boss Guardiola tribute to Sterling after goalscoring cameo

first_imgMan City boss Guardiola tribute to Sterling after goalscoring cameoby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City boss Pep Guardiola was pleased to see Raheem Sterling on the scoresheet for victory over Everton.Sterling came off the bench to score in the 3-1 win.”Raheem – when he has no time to think in front of goal – he’s always good,” Guardiola said.”The cross was amazing from Fernandinho and it was a great finish. We are not the tallest team in the world but after just a few minutes, it was an important goal for him and everyone. “I see him so calm. I think he has handled the last years in many situations and rumours – not nice things about him or his family or the colour of his skin. I admire him and appreciate that it’s not easy for him.”He’s loved by all staff and in the locker room.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months agoMan City winger Sterling adamant they can beat Liverpool

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City winger Sterling adamant they can beat Liverpoolby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City winger Raheem Sterling is adamant they can stop runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.Sterling is undaunted about facing Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Reds, who have reeled off nine straight wins to open up a seven-point lead in the title race.”If we can play the way we know we can play, we can beat anyone,” said a defiant Sterling. “It’s going to be a great game on Thursday and we’re all ­looking forward to it.“The last three games we started well and scored the opening goal and then we were sloppy, but our mentality was good against Southampton and we showed a good fighting spirit.”There was a bit of luck as well, but we played some great football and controlled the game, which we know we can do. It’s up to us to keep that focus and go on to the next one.” last_img read more

a month agoRice praises West Ham character for Aston Villa draw

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rice praises West Ham character for Aston Villa drawby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveDeclan Rice praised West Ham’s character for their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.Rice says West Ham would have lost Monday’s goalless draw at Aston Villa last season, but instead the confidence and spirit in the squad enabled them to grind out a hard-earned point.He told whufc.com: “To be honest, I think we’re very happy with the point. We were a bit slow in the first half. We kept the ball well at times, but it was a bit too end-to-end and in the second half, when we went down to ten, we knew it was going to be tough because we know they’ve got some top players, but we dug in, defended really well and were still creating chances.“We weren’t just sat back. We were still trying to get the three points and I think we can be happy with our night’s work.”He added: “When we’re playing now, we’re playing with that confidence. We’re defending hard, we’re attacking hard and every player who puts on the shirt, we’re feeling confident to go out there and get the three points.” last_img read more

Reprehensible Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of US right

first_imgWASHINGTON – In what’s almost certainly a first in the lengthy history of bilateral relations between the countries, Canada’s summer-jobs program has become the object of criticism from America’s right wing.The reason is abortion.A former Trump White House adviser, several news organizations and the president’s favourite Fox News morning show have all dumped on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explanation for why pro-life groups should be excluded from $220 million in federal jobs grants.The prime minister’s suggestion that pro-life groups were out of line with Canadian society triggered criticism in the country next door — where abortion remains a subject of mainstream political debate and is a central issue in the struggle for control of the U.S. Supreme Court.“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka.It’s not the first time Trudeau has landed on the radar of the American right.While he’s drawn fawning profiles in mainstream magazines and polls have suggested he’s relatively well-liked in the U.S., there are three cases now where he’s drawn conservative ire down south, after his praiseful eulogizing of Fidel Castro and the multimillion-dollar legal settlement with Omar Khadr.There were even a few boos at a Republican rally in Florida recently when President Donald Trump mentioned Trudeau’s name — though the president interjected quickly to silence them: “No, I like him,” Trump said. “Nice guy. Good guy.”The latest controversy involves a new Canadian policy — when applying for federal grants for student jobs, organizations are now required to sign a form attesting that neither their core mission, nor the job being funded, opposes human rights, including reproductive rights.Pro-life activists are suing the federal government over it.The abortion controversy produced a segment Monday on the morning show “Fox and Friends”.Host Brian Kilmeade said: “What message is he trying to send to us, maybe?” Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy added: “What happens in Canada often comes down to us. This is an effort to silence pro-lifers. … This is a sign of intolerance. If you have a pro-life view you’re not welcome to share it or else you’re kicked out of this program.”They invited the head of largest American annual pro-life march onto the air to discuss it. Jeanne Mancini, whose annual March for Life is later this week, said she hoped to invite the prime minister to attend the rally.“Because he will see who’s really out of touch with mainstream America,” Mancini said. “We’ve lost over 60 million Americans to abortion. To the prime minister, I would just really want to talk to him.”Trudeau discussed the controversy in an interview Monday with The Canadian Press.He said he’s a Catholic who has long had to reconcile his religious beliefs with his responsibilities as a political leader and he said the latter demands that he defend people’s rights.In this case, he said that means a woman’s right to choose trumps the right to a federal grant.“An organization that has as its stated goal to remove rights from Canadians, to remove the right that women have fought for to determine what happens to their own bodies, is not in line with where the charter (of Rights) is or where the government of Canada is,” Trudeau said Monday.“Certainly there is no obligation by the government of Canada to fund organizations that are determined to remove rights that have been so long fought for by women.”last_img read more