Wheel‑y cool!

What has more kid appeal than a gigan­tic truck that dri­ves from town to town look­ing for tires to chomp? One that cleans up the envi­ron­ment at the same time! Here’s one com­pa­ny’s lat­est inven­tion intend­ed to help clean up waste tires in the U.S. and Canada.

Child specialists

No, not the spe­cial­ists who know a lot about chil­dren. Rather, the chil­dren them­selves who know a lot about their cho­sen spe­cial­ty. Is it bet­ter for today’s kids to be well-round­ed gen­er­al­ists or hyper-focused elites? That is the ques­tion I exam­ined over the sum­mer. You can read all about it here.

The risks and rewards of ‘spe­cial­iz­ing’ ear­ly, Learn­ingMap, Octo­ber 2007

FACES Magazine — Riders for Health article

FACES: Peo­ple, Places, and Cul­tures is a Cob­ble­stone Pub­li­ca­tion for kids ages 9–14. I pro­filed an orga­ni­za­tion called Rid­ers for Health for their March 2007 glob­al health issue. By using fair­ly sim­ple machines, Rid­ers for Health has solved a com­plex prob­lem. They use motor­cy­cles to deliv­er med­ical sup­plies and ser­vices to regions of Africa with lit­tle or no infra­struc­ture. Sim­ply elegant.

Put those kids to work

You cer­tain­ly can’t tell by look­ing, but our kids love to help clean the house. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this is one thing I’m sure they did­n’t learn by exam­ple. If I enjoyed it even half as much as they do, we could prob­a­bly do some­thing crazy like invite peo­ple over for din­ner once in awhile. Maybe some­day they’ll be able to do it all by them­selves, but until then, here are some help­ful techniques.

Choos­ing age-appro­pri­ate chores, Par­entMap, Jan­u­ary 2007

KNOW Magazine — Spot the spots

Sci­en­tists at ECOCEAN are using pat­tern-recog­ni­tion soft­ware devel­oped for NASA’s Hub­ble Space Tele­scope pro­gram to rec­og­nize indi­vid­ual whale sharks, which are cov­ered with small, white spots on a dark back­ground sim­i­lar to a star­ry night sky. I wrote a short news piece about it for the May/June 2007 issue of KNOW–The Sci­ence Mag­a­zine for Curi­ous Kids.