Scitech Now Episode 215

In this episode of SciTech Now, an international group of computer coders have joined forces with a composer to showcase fractals in a whole new light; the founder of the renewable energy company Uncharted Play has developed unusual sources of electricity for the developing world; at the Tech Sassy Girlz Hackathon in Orlando, middle and high school girls get a crash course in coding; and more.

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

COMING UP, THE CONVERGENCE OF ART AND SCIENCE ON THE DIGITAL FRONTIER...

THESE UNIVERSES ARE SO INTRIGUING, MY THOUGHT WAS, 'WHAT IF THAT UNIVERSE WAS ALL AROUND YOU?'

AND YOU CAN DO THAT IN A PLANETARIUM.

...GENERATING ENERGY THROUGH PLAY....

YOU CAN KICK IT, USE IT LIKE A NORMAL SOCCER BALL, BUT IT ALSO HARNESSES THE KINETIC ENERGY THAT'S GENERATED DURING PLAY AND STORES THIS POWER INSIDE THE BALL.

...A CRASH COURSE IN CODING...

WE TRY TO IMPLEMENT REAL-WORLD METHODOLOGIES TO SOLVING PROBLEMS.

SO WE TAKE THEM THROUGH THE DESIGN SESSION, THE BRAINSTORMING, THE STORYBOARDING.

...AND FINALLY, TECH PLACES HEALTHCARE IN THE HANDS OF THE PATIENT.

I KNOW HOW I'M MAINTAINING MY LIFE.

NOW, MONDAY NIGHT, I ATE TOO MUCH.

I WAS AT A PICNIC.

[ LAUGHS ]

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY...

HELLO, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

WELCOME TO OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM, BRINGING YOU THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

MENTION FRACTALS, AND MOST PEOPLE WILL STARE AT YOU BLANKLY.

BUT THESE INFINITELY COMPLEX MATHEMATICAL PATTERNS HAVE BEEN APPRECIATED FOR CENTURIES.

AN INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF COMPUTER CODERS HAVE JOINED FORCES WITH AN AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER AND A 60-FOOT PLANETARIUM DOME ON A AMBITIOUS PROJECT TO SHOWCASE FRACTALS IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT.

HERE'S A LOOK.

♪♪ [ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ]

IT'S A SWELTERING EVENING IN KANSAS CITY, AND THESE FOLKS HAVE COME TO THE COMFORTS OF THE GOTTLIEB PLANETARIUM FOR A TOUR OF A UNIQUE UNIVERSE.

BUT TONIGHT THIS ISN'T A TREK THROUGH THE MAGNIFICENT CELESTIAL BODIES, HELD ALOFT WITHIN THE FIRMAMENT.

NO, THIS IS A TOUR OF A DIFFERENT SORT OF UNIVERSE -- ONE MADE OF COMPUTER CODES KNIT TOGETHER BY THE SIMPLE WONDER OF FRACTAL EQUATIONS.

[ SOFT ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYS ] TURNS OUT, THE PROPERTIES OF FRACTALS HAVE BEEN ALL AROUND US SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME, LIKE IN THE REPETITIVE, SELF-SIMILAR BRANCHING OF A TREE OR IN THE REDUNDANT PERFECTION OF A SNOWFLAKE.

THE MATHEMATICAL POSSIBILITIES OF THIS OMNIPRESENT PATTERNING WAS FIRST RECOGNIZED BY GOTTFRIED LEIBNIZ IN THE 17th CENTURY.

HOWEVER, IT WASN'T VISUALIZED UNTIL 1904, WHEN THE KOCH SNOWFLAKE WAS DEVISED.

AND IN THE '60s, THIS INFINITELY LARGE OR SMALL THEOREM GOT A PSYCHEDELIC OVERHAUL WHEN THE MANDELBROT SET WAS CONCOCTED, ASSIGNING A COLOR TO THE FORMULA'S EXPANSION OR CONTRACTION.

AND IT'S BEEN LESS THAN A DECADE SINCE TECHNOLOGY CAUGHT UP WITH FRACTALS, ENABLING THESE MAGNIFICENT UNIVERSES, MADE WITH JUST A FEW HUNDRED LINES OF COMPUTER CODE, TO STRETCH ACROSS THE DIGITAL CANVAS.

IN 2014, THE ELEGANT FORMULA TOOK ANOTHER HUGE LEAP, THANKS TO THIS MAN -- AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER, DIRECTOR, AND CURATOR OF 'ONCE AND FUTURE CITIES,' BENTLEY OUSLEY.

'ONCE AND FUTURE CITIES' IS A -- I CALL IT A FRACTAL JOURNEY, BECAUSE WE'RE MOVING THROUGH THESE VIRTUAL LANDSCAPES THAT ARE CREATED PURELY THROUGH MATHEMATICS.

WHEN WE RENDER THESE IMMERSIVE IMAGES, WE DON'T START WITH ANY CGI MODELS, WE DON'T START WITH ANY TEXTURES.

THERE IS NO VISUAL INPUT TO THIS AT ALL.

IT IS ALL FORMULAS.

THE 'WE' HE'S REFERRING TO IS AN ELITE TEAM OF FRACTAL ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, BROUGHT TOGETHER BY A WEBSITE THAT HATCHED A BOLD IDEA.

IF YOU GO OUT TO shadertoy.com, YOU SEE A LITTLE PANEL, AND THAT IS YOUR WINDOW INTO THAT UNIVERSE.

AND THESE UNIVERSES ARE SO INTRIGUING, MY THOUGHT WAS, 'WHAT IF THAT UNIVERSE WAS ALL AROUND YOU?'

AND YOU CAN DO THAT IN A PLANETARIUM.

WHICH MIGHT SOUND LIKE QUITE THE LEAP, BUT NOT FOR AVID STARGAZER AND K.C. ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY MEMBER OUSLEY, WHO, SINCE 2004, HAS LOGGED COUNTLESS HOURS UNDER THIS VERY SPECIAL DOME.

WHEN WE CAME INTO THE PLANETARIUM, THERE WAS NO ASTRONOMICAL CONTENT THAT WAS CURRENTLY BEING SHOWN THERE.

IT WASN'T EVEN CALLED A PLANETARIUM.

THEY CALLED IT A CITY DOME.

AFTER A PARTNERSHIP WAS FORGED BETWEEN THE ASKC AND THE THEN-CASH-STRAPPED UNION STATION, THEY WENT TO WORK FINDING A COST-EFFECTIVE FIX FOR THE PLANETARIUM'S DILAPIDATED EQUIPMENT AND ENDED UP INVENTING, ENGINEERING, AND PROGRAMMING THE SYSTEM LOVINGLY KNOWN AS VRT, WHICH NOW TAKES AUDIENCES ON DAILY VOYAGES THROUGH THE LUSH ARGOSIES OF THE COSMOS.

SO THE IDEA OF CREATING A 40-MINUTE-LONG PLANETARIUM FRACTAL SHOW WAS HARDLY FAR-FETCHED.

BUT THAT'S NOT TO SAY IT WAS ENTERED INTO LIGHTLY.

THE FIRST THING YOU DO IS YOU FIGURE WHAT'S YOUR STRETCH GOAL.

YOU KNOW?

AND MY STRETCH GOAL WAS, 'WELL, HERE'S THE SIX GUYS THAT I THINK ARE PROBABLY THE BEST IN THE WORLD AT DOING THIS,' AND I GOT FIVE OF THEM.

[ WOMAN VOCALIZING SOFTLY ] WHEN I SAW THESE FRACTALS, I THOUGHT THAT THEY HAD KIND OF THE VISUAL MOVEMENT AND EMOTION THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR.

[ VOCALIZING CONTINUES ] [ INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS ]

AFTER THE SHOW, BENTLEY FIELDS A Q&A ABOUT THE PROJECT.

WHAT EXPERIENCE DO I HAVE?

I HAVE -- I HAVE -- I HAVE SEVEN MONTHS OF EXPERIENCE.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

[ LAUGHTER ] THIS A NEW ART FORM.

I'M, LIKE, A VETERAN AT DOING THIS.

I HAVE A COMPUTER BACKGROUND.

SO, IN THE EVENING'S FINAL MOMENTS, THIS FRIEND OF FRACTALS SOLDIERS ON, WHOLEHEARTEDLY EXTENDING AN INVITATION TO JOIN THE EXPEDITION TO THESE WORLDS UNKNOWN.

YOU CAN GO OUT TO shadertoy.com.

NOT ONLY CAN YOU SEE THE ANIMATION BUT RIGHT BY IT IS THE CODE.

AND NOT ONLY THAT, YOU CAN CHANGE THE CODE AND THEN RE-EXECUTE IT RIGHT THERE.

I MEAN, IT'S DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH.

IT'S DESIGNED FOR PEOPLE TO GO IN AND MAKE SUBTLE CHANGES IN IT, AND SEE IF IT WORKS.

MOST LIKELY, GONNA BLOW UP.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?

REFRESH YOUR WEB PAGE.

GOES BACK RIGHT LIKE IT WAS.

[ SOFT ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYS ] ♪♪

CREATING RELIABLE SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD CONTINUES TO BE AN ENORMOUS CHALLENGE AS THE NECESSARY INFRASTRUCTURE LAGS BEHIND.

BUT ONE CREATIVE WOMAN, JESSICA MATTHEWS, HAS COME UP WITH A SOLUTION.

FOUNDER OF THE RENEWABLE-ENERGY COMPANY UNCHARTED PLAY, MATTHEWS HAS DEVELOPED ENERGY-GENERATING SOCCER BALLS AND JUMP ROPES WHICH CAN POWER LIGHTS FOR HOURS ON END.

IN OTHER WORDS, MATTHEWS HAS FOUND A WAY TO HARNESS ENERGY RESULTING FROM FUN.

SO, WE GOT TO TALK ABOUT THE PROPS FIRST.

THE SOCCER BALL DOES WHAT?

SURE.

SO, THE SOCCER BALL IS A SOCCER BALL, FIRST AND FOREMOST.

SO YOU CAN PLAY WITH IT, YOU CAN KICK IT, USE IT LIKE A NORMAL SOCCER BALL.

BUT IT ALSO HARNESSES THE KINETIC ENERGY THAT'S GENERATED DURING PLAY AND STORES THIS POWER INSIDE THE BALL.

SO YOU CAN USE IT AS AN OFF-GRID POWER SOURCE.

SO, WHY?

WHAT'S STORING THE POWER INSIDE THERE.

SO, WE USE A RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM-ION BATTERY, SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU MIGHT EVEN FIND IN YOUR CELLPHONE, INSIDE THIS BALL.

AND SO, WITH JUST THE ROTATION OF THE BALL, WE HAVE A MECHANISM THAT'S ALSO ROTATING CONSISTENTLY.

AND THAT'S ACTUALLY WHAT'S CHARGING THE BATTERY INSIDE THE BALL.

SO, THERE'S, LIKE, A LITTLE GYROSCOPE INSIDE THE MIDDLE OF THE SOCCER BALL?

A MINI GYROSCOPE.

OUR TECHNOLOGY IS CALLED M.O.R.E.

THAT'S AN ACRONYM THAT STANDS FOR MOTION-BASED OFF-GRID RENEWABLE ENERGY.

AND THAT'S A TRADEMARKED TERM THAT IS CURRENTLY COVERED BY SEVEN PATENTS AND PATENTS PENDING, THAT ESSENTIALLY IS OUR UNIQUE PROPRIETARY FORM OF A MICRO-GENERATOR...

OKAY.

...THAT WE INCORPORATE INTO THESE TWO PRODUCTS, AND SOON, LOTS OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTS.

SO IT'S SORT OF A MIX OF A DYNAMO GENERATOR, AS YOU WOULD EXPECT, BUT IT'S DESIGNED IN A WAY THAT'S VERY MODULAR.

SO IT CAN BE INSERTED INTO PRODUCTS LIKE SOCCER BALLS AND LIKE JUMP ROPES WITHOUT REALLY NEGATIVELY AFFECTING THE ORIGINAL FUNCTIONALITY OF THE PRODUCT.

SO, IS IT GETTING MORE POWER, THE HARDER I KICK IT?

OR JUST BECAUSE THE BALL IS ROLLING?

HOW DOES THE GENERATOR WORK?

SO, THE IDEA IS REALLY ABOUT FREQUENCY OF MOTION, RIGHT?

FREQUENCY OF MOTION AND CONSISTENCY OF THAT MOTION.

SO, FOR US, THE GOAL WASN'T TO SAY, YOU KNOW, 'LET'S NOT MAKE THIS SOME SORT OF CARNIVAL GAME, AND SEE HOW HARD YOU CAN KICK THE BALL.'

THE IDEA IS TO REALLY LOOK AT HOW WE CAN AMPLIFY EXISTING BEHAVIOR.

THE THING THAT A SOCCER BALL IS OFTEN DOING, MOST TIMES THROUGHOUT A GAME, IS ROLLING.

SO WE DESIGNED THE MECHANISM TO MAKE SURE THAT IT'S TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE ROLLING SYSTEM.

THE PULSE JUMP ROPE IS THE SAME WAY.

WE HAVE OUR M.O.R.E. TECHNOLOGY IN EACH HANDLE.

AND A JUMP ROPE IS PERFECT FOR CONSISTENT MOTION, RIGHT?

OH, IT'S -- I -- I'M A BOXER, AMATEUR, FOR FUN.

[ CHUCKLES ] AND I USE THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY, DURING MY WORKOUTS.

I LOVE IT.

IN FACT, I'VE LOST OVER 50 POUNDS JUST FROM WORKING OUT WITH THIS, OVER THE LAST YEAR.

AND HOW MANY WATTS HAVE YOU GENERATED WHILE YOU'RE JUMPING?

[ LAUGHS ]

I HAVEN'T KEPT TRACK OF THAT.

[ CHUCKLES ] THIS IS -- IT'S FUNNY, WE ALSO HAVE AN ADAPTOR THAT YOU CAN USE TO CHARGE, BASICALLY, AN EMERGENCY BATTERY FOR YOUR CELLPHONE WITH THE JUMP ROPE.

AND SO I'VE BEEN ABLE TO USE IT FOR THAT, USE IT FOR CAMPING.

WE HAVE REALLY COOL LAMPS THAT NOW COME WITH THE PRODUCTS, THAT WE DISTRIBUTE WORLDWIDE.

SO, THE POWER IS IN THE HANDLE BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN SPINNING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

LITERALLY IN THE HANDLE, EXACTLY.

WE LITERALLY HAVE THE M.O.R.E.

TECHNOLOGY INSIDE EACH HANDLE.

AND AS YOU'RE JUMPING...

SURE.

...THE ROPE IS TURNING THIS SYSTEM, RECHARGING A LITHIUM-ION BATTERY THAT YOU CAN THEN JUST PLUG RIGHT INTO...

WOW. SO, YOU'VE GOT L.E.D.

LIGHTS THAT ARE POWERED BY...

YES, YES, YES.

AND SO THIS IS REALLY EXCITING, BECAUSE, AGAIN, IT'S REALLY ABOUT INTRODUCING PEOPLE TO THIS IDEA OF AMPLIFYING EXISTING BEHAVIOR AND GETTING MORE OUT OF LIFE.

IN PARTICULAR, ENERGY ACCESS IS, IN MY MIND, ONE OF THE MOST CORE ATROCITIES THAT WE HAVE TO ADDRESS TO REALLY PULL EVERYTHING TOGETHER.

IT'S RELATED TO EDUCATION, IT'S RELATED TO UPWARD MOBILITY, IT'S RELATED TO EVEN, IN TERMS, SOMETIMES, GENDER EQUALITY AND POVERTY.

AND IT'S -- IT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK PEOPLE OFTEN SEE AS A VERY LARGE ISSUE THAT VERY FEW INDIVIDUALS CAN EVER ACTIVELY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN, HAVE AGENCY IN TRYING TO ADDRESS THE STATUS QUO.

AND THE IDEA OF THESE PRODUCTS IS TO REALLY SPARK A DIFFERENT MENTALITY IN THAT THINKING, TO SHOW PEOPLE THAT NOT ONLY DOES THEIR INDIVIDUAL EFFORT BECOME SOMETHING THAT COULD BE MEANINGFUL, NOT ONLY IS THAT SOMETHING THAT COULD BE WORTHWHILE TO ADDRESS AN ISSUE OF HAVING ACCESS TO CLEAN, RENEWABLE POWER ON DEMAND.

BUT THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A DEBBIE-DOWNER CONVERSATION.

IT CAN BE FROM FUN.

YOU CAN GET THE WIN-WIN WHEN YOU'RE DOING THINGS THAT YOU ENJOY AND THAT YOU LOVE AND THAT YOU'D BE DOING ANYWAY, AND GET THE POWER YOU NEED, AS WELL.

YOU'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT A MARKET SIZE THAT'S -- WHAT -- 1.5 BILLION, 2 BILLION PEOPLE THAT DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY EVERY DAY?

WELL, SO, FOR THESE IN PARTICULAR, WE DESIGNED THEM FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD -- A PLACE WHERE ACTUALLY THERE ARE OVER 2 BILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE THAT HAVE EITHER NO, OR VERY POOR, ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY.

AND SO THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE CONNECTED TO A 'GRID.'

BUT THE REALITY IS THAT THE GRID CAN'T SCALE.

I AM A DUAL CITIZEN OF NIGERIA AND THE UNITED STATES.

AND IN NIGERIA, JUST LIKE IN MANY OTHER PLACES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH, THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE POWER SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.

YOUR DAY WILL PROBABLY END WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN.

AND IF YOU WANT LIGHTS -- NOTHING TO SAY THE LEAST OF JUST GENERAL POWER -- IF YOU JUST WANT LIGHT, YOU'RE GOING TO END UP USING EITHER A KEROSENE LAMP OR A DIESEL GENERATOR, BOTH OF WHICH ARE HORRIBLE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND HORRIBLE FOR THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO ACTUALLY LIVE IN THE SPACE WITH THOSE ITEMS.

AND SO YOU KIND OF HAVE THIS COMPOUNDED ISSUE WHERE YOU'RE NOT JUST SITTING THERE LOOKING FOR LIGHT JUST TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

YOU'RE SITTING THERE DEVELOPING CANCER -- LITERALLY DEVELOPING CANCER -- BECAUSE YOU'RE BREATHING IN THE FUMES FROM THIS KEROSENE GENERATOR.

AND SO THESE PRODUCTS ARE DESIGNED TO ADDRESS THAT SHORT-TERM ISSUE, REPLACING THOSE ITEMS.

BUT I THINK, MORE IMPORTANTLY, REALLY HIGHLIGHT A LONGER-TERM OPPORTUNITY TO EMPOWER PEOPLE AROUND THE IDEA OF WHAT'S POSSIBLE WITH ENERGY.

IN PARTICULAR, TO REALLY HIGHLIGHT WHAT'S POSSIBLE AROUND MOTION-BASED ENERGY AND KINETIC ENERGY, WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERUTILIZED FORMS OF ENERGY AROUND THE WORLD.

AND SO WE'RE LOOKING AT INTEGRATING OUR TECHNOLOGY ULTIMATELY INTO EVERYTHING THAT MOVES.

WE IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE WE PARTNER WITH O.E.M.s AND OTHER DEVELOPERS OF MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS THAT ARE CONSTANTLY IN MOTION, LIKE WHEELS.

THAT CAN BE USED TO NOT ONLY PROVIDE MOBILE POWER, BECAUSE, QUITE FRANKLY, WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE, IF ANYTHING CAN CHARGE YOUR CELLPHONE, IT SHOULD.

BUT I THINK, IN PARTICULAR, TO LOOK AT THE IoT AND SENSORS AND THE SMART-GRID WORLD THAT WE'RE TRYING TO GET TO -- THIS WORLD THAT WE KEEP TALKING ABOUT.

BUT IF YOU HAVE TO KEEP CHANGING THE BATTERIES ON YOUR SENSOR, YOU KNOW, THE ACTUAL ADAPTABILITY AND CONSUMER ADOPTION IS QUESTIONABLE, AT BEST.

SO WE'RE REAL EXCITED TO SHOW THE WORLD HOW WE STARTED WITH PLAY, PULL PEOPLE INTO THE NARRATIVE IN THIS REALLY EXCITING WAY, BUT THEN KEEP THEM HERE WITH REAL, HONEST, EXCITING TECHNOLOGY THAT I THINK IS GOING TO ENTIRELY DISRUPT THE WAY WE CONSUME ENERGY FOREVER.

[ Chuckling ] ALL RIGHT.

A NOT-SMALL GOAL.

YES, WELL, GO BIG, GO HOME, RIGHT?

[ LAUGHS ]

THAT'S RIGHT.

THE COMPANY IS UNCHARTED PLAY.

JESSICA MATTHEWS, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

[ COMPUTER KEYS CLACKING ] ♪♪ ♪♪

HACKATHONS OFTEN BRING TOGETHER CODERS AND DESIGNERS TO CREATE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO BUSINESS AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

AND IN ORLANDO, AT THE TECH SASSY GIRLZ HACKATHON, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS GOT A CRASH COURSE IN CODING AND EXPOSURE TO CAREERS IN THE TECH SECTOR.

YOUNG WOMEN MAKE UP A SIGNIFICANT MAJORITY OF COLLEGE STUDENTS, BUT THEY REPRESENT LESS THAN A QUARTER OF THOSE STUDYING THE S.T.E.M.

SUBJECTS -- SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH.

THERE'S WIDE AGREEMENT THAT, FOR THE UNITED STATES TO REMAIN A WORLD LEADER, WE MUST BRING MORE WOMEN INTO THESE FIELDS.

♪♪ TECH SASSY GIRLZ, THE SIGNATURE PROGRAM OF COLLEGIATE PATHWAYS, AIMS TO DO JUST THAT.

IT PROVIDES MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS EXPOSURE TO TECHNOLOGY CAREERS THROUGH WORKSHOPS AND MENTORSHIP.

WE HAVE A FULL DAY FOR YOU.

IT'S REALLY ABOUT HAVING THE GIRLS UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTS.

IT'S IMPORTANT, FOR ME, FOR THEM TO SEE THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF HOW AN APP IS BUILT, AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY TYPICALLY TAKE FOR GRANTED ON A REGULAR BASIS.

WHO WANTS TO LEARN ABOUT SOFTWARE -- COMPUTER SOFTWARE?

WHO WANTS TO LEARN ABOUT HOW TO BUILD AN APP?

THERE'S A MIXTURE OF GIRLS IN OUR PROGRAM.

THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE BRAND-NEW.

THEY'VE NEVER WRITTEN A LINE OF CODE BEFORE IN THEIR LIVES.

AND THEN THERE ARE SOME THAT ARE MORE ADVANCED.

SO OUR HOPE IS JUST ENGAGING THEM.

DURING A RECENT HACKATHON AT THE ORLANDO PUBLIC LIBRARY, THE GIRLS WERE INTRODUCED TO CODING LANGUAGES AND PROGRAMS.

THIS IS CODING.

NOW, IT DOESN'T LOOK VERY PRETTY.

THERE'S A LOT OF SYMBOLS AND CHARACTERS THAT ARE ON THE SCREEN HERE.

BUT WHAT I WANTED TO SHOW YOU, JUST LIKE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, YOU CAN SAY THE SAME THING.

AND IN THIS CASE, THIS CODE IS BASICALLY DESIGNED TO PRINT A MESSAGE TO A SCREEN.

AFTER BEING SHOWN THE TOOLS AVAILABLE TO THEM, THE GIRLS BROKE INTO GROUPS TO PUT THEIR SKILLS TO THE TEST.

TYPICALLY, A HACKATHON IS REALLY SOLVING A BUSINESS PROBLEM IN THE COMMUNITY.

TODAY WE'RE DOING A MINI VERSION OF IT AND WORKING WITH GIRLS IN MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL FOR FOUR HOURS AND HELPING THEM SOLVE AN ISSUE WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES, FOCUSED ON EDUCATION AND WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY, FINANCIAL LITERACY, AND CHILDHOOD OBESITY.

WE CHOOSE EITHER IF WE WANT TO MAKE AN APP OR A WEBSITE FOR THAT PROBLEM.

WE CHOSE THE TOPIC OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY, AND WE'RE PUTTING DIFFERENT WEBSITES AND FORUMS FOR PARENTS TO DO BLOGS AND STUFF LIKE THAT.

THE GIRLS ARE WORKING WITH REAL-LIFE GRAPHIC DESIGNERS, REAL-LIFE CODERS, REAL-LIFE PROJECT MANAGERS, AND THEY'RE HELPING THEM THROUGH THE PROCESS.

WE TRY TO IMPLEMENT REAL-WORLD METHODOLOGIES TO SOLVING PROBLEMS.

SO WE TAKE THEM THROUGH THE DESIGN SESSION, THE BRAINSTORMING, THE STORYBOARDING.

JUST PEEKING IN ON SOME OF THE CONVERSATIONS THAT THEY'RE HAVING RIGHT NOW IN THEIR BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS, I'M TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY.

HOW WOULD THE GAME WORK?

THROUGH AN APP.

AN APP? OKAY.

HOW WOULD THAT WORK?

OUR APP IS CALLED TRIVIA FRIENDS.

IN THIS APP, WE ARE TRYING TO ACCELERATE PEOPLE IN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS.

TECH SASSY GIRLZ ALSO MATCHES PARTICIPANTS WITH MENTORS, WHO SERVE AS BOTH ADVISERS AND ROLE MODELS.

S.T.E.M. WAS A VERY MALE-DOMINATED FIELD, SO TO SPEAK.

NOW THAT MORE WOMEN ARE GOING INTO IT, IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US GIRLS TO HAVE MENTORS SO THAT WE CAN GO INTO THAT FIELDS, KNOW WHAT WE WANT TO DO, AND SO WE DON'T GET INTIMIDATED AS MUCH.

WE'RE VERY EXCITED THAT WE GET SO MANY WOMEN FROM DIFFERENT COMPANIES AND DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS THAT COME AND SUPPORT OUR EVENT, BECAUSE THE GIRLS GET TO ACTUALLY SEE WOMEN WHO LOOK LIKE THEM IN S.T.E.M.

DISCIPLINES.

THE GIRLS CAN ALSO PITCH THEIR IDEAS TO PROFESSIONALS IN THE FIELD.

THIS WEBSITE IS CALLED FUN HEALTHY LIVING 4 FAMILIES.

IT ORIGINALLY STARTED OUT AS AN APP, BUT WE FELT THAT THE APP SMASHED OUR CREATIVITY, SO WE TRANSFERRED IT TO A WEBSITE.

FOR FOUNDER LAINE POWELL, GETTING GIRLS INTERESTED IN S.T.E.M. IS WHAT THE PROGRAM IS ALL ABOUT.

I WOULD ALWAYS ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO JOIN TECH SASSY, BECAUSE NO MATTER WHAT DAY, NO MATTER WHAT WE'RE DOING, WE'RE ALWAYS LEARNING ABOUT S.T.E.M. -- SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS.

SO IT'S ALWAYS HELPING AND ENCOURAGING YOUNG LEADERS.

SPEECHLESS TODAY.

[ LAUGHTER ] THIS WAS AMAZING.

S.T.E.M.-MAZING, AMAZING.

Y'ALL ARE AWESOME.

[ APPLAUSE ] THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.

♪♪

HI, I'M ADAM.

I'M CO-FOUNDER OF PROPS.

AND I'M JUSTIN, C.T.O. OF PROPS.

SO, PROPS HELPS COMPANIES SCALE THEIR CULTURE.

WHAT WE DO IS WE HELP THEM CELEBRATE EMPLOYEES THAT ARE DOING EXCEPTIONAL WORK.

FOR EXAMPLE, IF SOMEONE IS PUSHING CODE OR CONTRIBUTING TO THE COMPANY IN A BIG WAY, WE MAKE THEM VISIBLE TO EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE COMPANY, TO KNOW THAT.

WHERE PROPS COMES FROM IS THAT SOMEONE CAN GIVE PROPS TO SOMEONE ELSE, AND IT KIND OF LIKE FUNCTIONS LIKE THE 'LIKE' BUTTON.

YEAH. WE HOOK INTO THIRD-PARTY APIs, LIKE SALESFORCE, GitHub, AND ZENDESK.

AND THAT INFORMATION IS AUTOMATICALLY PUMPED INTO A TWITTER-LIKE FEED AND ALSO TO THE TVs THROUGHOUT YOUR OFFICE.

ANY TEAM MEMBER CAN ALSO POST A SHOUT-OUT SO YOU CAN HAVE A MORE PERSONAL TOUCH FOR ANYTHING THAT'S NOT TRACKED BY YOUR SERVICES THAT YOU ALREADY PUT IN THERE.

YOU SEE THE GREATEST COMPANIES -- GOOGLE, ZAPPOS, AND SO FORTH -- USING CULTURE TO REALLY DRIVE THEIR BOTTOM LINE.

AND WHAT THEY REALLY, IN THEIR ESSENCE, DO IS TREAT THEIR EMPLOYEES INCREDIBLY.

ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS IS THAT RECOGNITION IS IN THERE.

SIMPLE PUBLIC RECOGNITION IS ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND MOST UNDERUTILIZED MANAGEMENT TOOLS.

SO WE'RE KIND OF TRYING TO CAPTURE THAT AND SCALE THAT OUT TO LET EMPLOYEES CELEBRATE.

AND IN ADDITION, EMPLOYEES -- SO, YOU SEE THAT FROM THE COMPANY SIDE, BUT FROM THE EMPLOYEE PERSPECTIVE, YOU ALSO SEE THAT 86% OF EMPLOYEES THAT ARE LEAVING COMPANIES THAT THEY'RE FEELING UNDERRECOGNIZED.

WE HOOK INTO SERVICES THAT AN ORGANIZATION ALREADY USES.

SO, FOR INSTANCE, WHATEVER YOU MIGHT USE TO TRACK POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS, AND AS YOU CLOSE THOSE CUSTOMERS, YOU ENTER INTO WHATEVER SYSTEM, LIKE SALESFORCE, YOU SAY, 'THIS IS A NEW CUSTOMER SOLD.'

JUST AS THAT HAPPENS, OUR SYSTEM WILL AUTOMATICALLY PICK UP ON THAT, AND IT'LL BRING IT INTO THE FEED WHERE PEOPLE CAN THEN GIVE PROPS.

IT'S ESSENTIALLY LIKE YOU'RE JUST GIVING SOMEBODY PROPS, SAYING, LIKE, 'HEY, GOOD JOB CLOSING THAT DEAL' OR 'COMMITTING SOME CODE THAT FIX A CRITICAL ISSUE.'

IN THE AGE OF THE FITBIT, PERHAPS IT COMES AS LITTLE SURPRISE THAT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ARE NOW TURNING TO WEARABLE TECH TO BETTER MONITOR THEIR PATIENTS' HEALTH.

THROUGH AN ELECTRONIC SYSTEM CALLED TELEHEALTH, UNNECESSARY TRIPS TO THE HOSPITAL CAN BE AVOIDED BY ALLOWING MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TO KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON A PATIENT'S HEALTH REMOTELY.

WANT ME TO START IT?

SURE, GO AHEAD, START IT.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

ARE YOU READY TO START YOUR HEALTH CHECK?

AT 96 YEARS YOUNG, ART ENGLAND KNOWS MONITORING HIS HEALTH IS A CRITICAL PART OF THE DAILY ROUTINE.

BUT HE SAYS HE'D RATHER BE IN CONTROL AND WATCH IT HIMSELF.

THE BEST THING ABOUT IT IS, IF YOU HAVE A NURSE COMING TO DO THIS, YOU HAVE TO BE READY AT A SPECIAL TIME.

THIS WAY HERE, YOU'RE AT EASE.

WHENEVER YOU DESIRE TO DO IT, IT'S AVAILABLE.

TELEHEALTH IS A WAY FOR US TO HELP OUR PATIENTS MANAGE THEIR CHRONIC CONDITION AT HOME AND, HOPEFULLY, AVOID UNNECESSARY HOSPITALIZATION.

HOME TELEHEALTH CARE USES AN ELECTRONIC SYSTEM THAT SENDS A PATIENT'S VITAL DATA BACK TO A HOME BASE.

IN THIS CASE, IT'S DEB LEVIN'S OFFICE AT THE VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION OF SOMERSET HILLS.

SO, THE TRANSMISSION USUALLY INCORPORATES A WEIGHT, A BLOOD PRESSURE, A HEART RATE, AND AN OXYGEN READING.

NURSES TYPICALLY MONITOR PATIENTS WITH COPD, HEART FAILURE, FREQUENT PNEUMONIA, AND DIABETES.

IF SOMETHING LOOKS OFF, THEY INTERVENE ON A PATIENT'S BEHALF, FIRST CALLING THEM TO GIVE INSTRUCTIONS THAT A PHYSICIAN IS NEEDED.

WHEN YOU TAKE MY WEIGHT, DO YOU WANT ME TO DO IT THE WAY I DO IT IN THE MORNING?

DON'T SAY YES.

[ LAUGHS ]

YOUR OXYGEN SATURATION IS AT 90.

THAT'S VERY, VERY, VERY GOOD.

IN A PILOT PROGRAM THAT WE'VE DONE, WE DID REDUCE READMISSIONS BY 50%. SO, ULTIMATELY, IT DOES SAVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY.

AND NOT ONLY DOES IT SAVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM MONEY, IT ALSO IMPROVES THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF PATIENTS SO THAT THEY CAN REMAIN IN THE COMMUNITY.

THE PROBLEM?

ONLY ABOUT 30% OF ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY CAN OFFER IT.

RIGHT NOW, WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS MEDICARE NOT REIMBURSING FOR TELEHEALTH SERVICES.

ADDITIONALLY, OUR STATE ALSO DOES NOT REIMBURSE THROUGH THE MEDICAID BENEFIT, EITHER.

AND WHILE THE COST SAVINGS AND HOSPITAL READMISSION RATES MAY BE IMPORTANT FACTORS, ONE OF THE KEY BENEFITS, THEY SAY, IS PATIENT INVOLVEMENT AND THEIR AWARENESS OF THEIR OWN HEALTH.

I KNOW HOW I'M MAINTAINING MY LIFE.

NOW, MONDAY NIGHT, I ATE TOO MUCH.

I WAS AT A PICNIC.

[ LAUGHS ] I WENT OVER 150.

IT PROVIDES A SENSE OF SECURITY TO OUR PATIENTS.

THEY KNOW THAT A NURSE IS ON THE OTHER END OF THEIR DEVICE, LOOKING EVERY SINGLE DAY, MAKING SURE THAT THEY'RE STABLE.

AND FOR THIS FORMER WORLD WAR II AERIAL ENGINEER, WITH A LOT OF PEP LEFT IN HIS STEP, THAT'S JUST THE TICKET.

AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS TIME.

FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM, AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

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UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

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