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Wiki Entry #1: Planetariums

History

Many scientists and astronomers like Archimedes constructed devices that could represent the locations of the sun and the moon. This idea was then changed by Adam Walker, an educator in astronomy, to showcase his lectures in a public arena, hence a theater, to demonstrate positions of the stars. The theater was not the dome-like building used for modern planetariums but the evolution of the domes evolved from this theory. Similar thoughts were later developed by engineer Oskar von Miller and astronomer Max wolf, the initial designs of domes, however were created by Walter Bauerfeld and thought of rotating devices to act like the sky. Around 1923 he developed the first planetarium and the centerpiece projector would display the images of the stars and planets in a dark room. After the first planetarium was built in Munich, other cities began to demand planetariums built in their cities. In 1926, six new planetariums had opened around Germany and in 1930, the first planetarium opened outside of Europe. The evolution of planetariums being spread around the world began. Companies like Spitz were formed to manufacture the components of the projector to display large images in the domes. Spitz grew and became the world supplier for installations and computer projections. Soon school, museums, and theaters would have the same planetarium experience with portable projectors. Over 500 systems were shipped worldwide and many are still being used today.

Technology

Two important components of the planetarium are the dome screens and the projector. The domes range in a variety of sizes depending on how many people are being accommodated. A dome of 35m diameter can sit up to 500 people. Domes have been built slightly tilted to create a better view for the individual. The domes that are created horizontally are for the intent to sit people in circular rows so each can have the epicentric view of a front and center row of a theater. The traditional projector usually included a star ball component that would rotate to model Earth’s rotation. As new developments continued, two balls were added so the equilibrium from both poles and all the stars can be seen. Later new technology would produce what are called, Optical-Mechanical projectors, to show a much more realistic view than any other digital star projectors. Full digital planetariums therefore would project stars from a computer and display them onto the dome using laser projectors, cathode ray tubes, LCD, and DLP features. The projection for future technology would depict brighter images, a large view range, and a variety of colors to exhibit the best performances of the night sky. As 3-D digital planetariums make their way to production, people get the freedom to escape into the solar system and get the feeling of an almost real experience being in outer space. This provides an educational experience for kids and adults of all ages and a need to explore more therefore creating an initiative to study mathematics, science, and technology fields later in the future.

Works Cited

Ballantyne and Robert J. Ballantyne. "History of IPS." Interantional Planetarium History Society. June 2004. Web. <http://www.ips-planetarium.org/?page=history>.

Khalisi, Emil. PlanetariumsClub. Web. 27 May 2012. <http://www.planetariumsclub.org/content/blogcategory/31/53/>.

Ratcliffe, Martin. "Planetariums and Science Centers." Space Sciences. 2002. Retrieved May 27, 2012 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3408800168.html

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetarium

Wiki Entry #2: Adventure Land

History

The original Adventure game, also known as Colossal Cavess Adventure, was created by two college students Will Crowther and Don Woods In 1972. Scott Adams wrote his first adventure game and called it Adventureland in 1977. He was also the first person to create a game for the personal computer. His first game was created for the Radio Shack TRS-80 computer systems that same year. Adventureland was then released in 1978 and became popular making it the first game to be commercialized for the home-computer. Scott creates different versions of the game to be played on several other computers like the Atari, Apple 2, Commodore, Sorcerer, TI, and CPM etc. and the games were usually available at very low prices. In 1982 Adventureland was released with graphics allowing the player to view video representations of the objects to be found throughout the game.

The Game

Scott Adams creates a gaming style that puts the player in an environment that allows them to manipulate objects to accomplish a task. The game involves solving puzzles by using objects being collected throughout the game. Commands were of simple one or two words including verbs or nouns for example, north, south, east west, up, down, etc. using the 120 word vocabulary the system had. In order to complete the game the player had to collect 13 lost artifacts. Each player is then challenged to accumulate points, crack a mystery or accomplish a goal using the objects. Adventure was fantasy based and the first of 12 series that were published by Scott Adams and his company, Adventure International.

Adventure International

According to Scott Adams, the first game was the start of the company. His first order was from a Radio Shack in Chicago and the store manager wanted 50 tapes to sell. Scott then created each of the tapes one by one on his TRS-80. Adams went on to set up his company called Adventure International, which released fourteen games in the Scott Adams Adventure series, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, three games in the Questprobe series, and the first Marvel Comics licensed videogames. The company employed around 50 people until it went bankrupt in the mid 1980’s. The company went out of business and Scott moved on.

Technology

When Adam first created Adventureland, he created a simple language for the original game version; later on he converted the game to be played on several kinds of home computers. He had a TRS-80 model at the time that would help him write a game that would utilize Basic language. His expertise in FORTRAN led to the development of language incorporated in his first text-based game, Adventureland. Scott Adams had opened up the doors to future videogames being produced to be played on personal computers. The only problem was that he would have to create a game that had less memory than the Colossal Caves mainframe of 300K of space. That’s what led him to design the new adventure language that would fit into a smaller home computer.

Works Cited

"Adventureland (video Game)." Wikipedia. Web. 3 June 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventureland(video_game)>.

Crocker, Mickey. Scott Adams Grand Adventures. 2003. Web. <http://www.msadams.com/adventures.htm>.

"GameSetInterview: Adventure International's Scott Adams." Game Set Wtach. 19 July 2006. Web. <http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2006/07/gamesetinterview_adventure_int.php>.

Persson, Hans. "Timeline." Adventureland. 1999. Web. <http://adventure.if-legends.org/timeline.html>.

Wiki Entry #3: Blog

Blog

Blog is a form of social network; it can be used as a diary for some or as a way to keep notes in one place. Major companies use Blogs to get opinions from customers or update websites of new gadgets. Blogs vary from different styles, from art blogs, photo blogs, video blogs, MP3 blogs, Micro blogging which is a form of short blog posts. The first blogs were of individuals and single opinions. Now blogs have multi-authors and seem to get a form of critique from different people and at times even stir debates.

History

The term blog first came from the word “weblog” which was first introduced by Jorn Barger in 1977. In 1999, Peter Merholz cut the word weblog and first used the word “blog” to describe the same online diaries that were being used. Evan Williams used blog as a noun and a verb to describe the action of blogging for the day. One of the earliest bloggers in 1994 was a student from Swathmore College named, Justin Hall who began to writing reviews about the game conferences. Dave Winer is accredited for running one of the oldest and long lasting blogs. Today there are over 156 million blogs around the world and everyday millions of people blogging about something.

Present Day Blogs

Most blogs did not become popular till after 1999, the first popular blog was called Open Diary by Bruce Ableson in 1998 after graduating from Michigan State with Telecommunications. Brad Fizpatrick started Live Journal in 1999 and Andrew Smalls started Pitas.com that same year. All of these blogs became popular at the time and helped bring social network to a new form. Blogger.com by Evan Williams and meg Hourihan was purchased by Google in 2003. Google made easier and mainstream to use blogs to record daily events on Google Plus. Some people were aware that some of the things published on blogs were to be made public and several incidents happened where words could cause a person trouble if they were not carefully thought out. Although Blogs were made to generate public opinion some were offensive enough to send the person to trial or even jail.

Technology

In 2004 Blogs became more open and Isreal became the first country to use Blogs as a form of communication to tell public polls for next elections. It was also used for web services, news services, and for political consultants. As blogs begin to make their way to a form of writing we can expect online diaries to be published into major books, directories, engines, forms of advertising, and a way to communicate opinions to a company. Technology has made it easier to share and create public opinions to allow companies to see people’s interest and what we can expect in the near future.

Works Cited

Blood, Rebecca (September 7, 2000). "Weblogs: A History And Perspective”. <http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html>

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_blogging

Wiki Article: ITEC

Information Technology, Empowerment, Center

Overview

ITEC (Informative Technology Empowerment Center) is a nonprofit organization in Lansing Michigan created to develop a bridge in today’s Digital Divide between young students and adults. The collaboration that this partenership has created with the community allows helping engage the youth with the adults and learning about technology and how it changes our lives every day. “ITEC’s mission is to increase technology skills of Lansing area children and adults so as to better prepare them to participate in a fast-paced, global IT-based economy.” ITEC is making an impact in Lansing by developing this bond of communication within the community and bringing partners from a variety of supporters to achieve better collaboration and the spread of education in computer and technology. Its major focus is on science, technology, engineering, math, teach, and lego robotics. While the demand for information technology professionals continues to grow, student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) has declined. ITEC improves performance in these subjects as well as in robotics, writing, and digital media.

History

ITEC was founded in 2008 and the first Board of Directors was established:

George Stockman, Ph.D. (President) Professor Emeritus Department of Computer Science and Engineering Michigan State University

Teresa VanderSloot (Vice President) Academic Advisor Michigan State University

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. (Treasurer) Associate Provost University Outreach and Engagement Michigan State University

Ken Szymusiak (Secretary) Co-Director New Economy Division at Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP)

Ryan Vartoogian Chief Executive Officer Spartan Internet

Adam Pitcher Systems Staff Manager, Systems Analyst Department of Computer Science and Engineering Michigan State University

Stephanie Shanblatt, Ph.D. Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Lansing Community College

Sergio Keck Executive Director of Specialized Programs Lansing Public Schools

Linda A. Jackson Professor, Department of Psychology Michigan State University

Nicole Johnson Systems Engineer Cisco Systems

Andrea Ragan Executive Director Capital Area IT Council

Dominic Carbone Franchisee Hungry Howie’s Pizza

From then on it went to establishing a building in Lansing to house the ITEC office which is now held in 200 N Foster Avenue, Lansing. The ITEC staff sought to seek leaders and employers from Lansing/East Lansing or around the area that had the qualifications necessary. Not only were they looking for instructors to teach the courses but people who could help staff and give one-on-one attention to students in class, so Teacher Assistants. ITEC went out to look for possible college students willing to help teach the ITEC courses and bring to the table any new ideas from this particular generation. Volunteers, interns, workers, and community partners, all collaborated to work together to ensure maximum digital era age knowledge and help teach students and adults.

Programs

ITEC has several programs that are being offered all year round starting with the students K-12. They are enrolled in after school programs that use Lego Robotics by mixing science and fun to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, ITEC's mission is to increase the number of students who are motivated and prepared to pursue careers in science, engineering, mathematics and technology fields. Summer Camps are technology-based, also including lego robotics, digital media, and game design programs for students interested in gaining engineering and technology skills. These programs are better explained in detail below:

Alice 3-D Graphical Programming: -Students create interactive, virtual worlds -Teaches basic concepts of programming

Digital Media Arts: -Students design their own media such as a documentary, music video, still photographs and a prose or poems

MATLAB: -Students work with basic computer programming and computational concepts -Teaches students how to solve computational problems and reinforces skills in math, science, reasoning and writing

Lego Robotics: -Students build moving robots using Legos -Teaches construction, programming and design skills while teaching basic concepts of engineering and technology

Scratch: -Students create their own interactive stories, animations, games, music, art - and share student creations on the web -Teaches how to develop 21st century learning skills

CS Unplugged: -Students engage in games and puzzles using cards, string, crayons and lot of running around -Teaches that computer science is not really about computers at all and enforces the principles of computer science

The second part of the ITEC Programs include the Adult Education program bringing us to the most recently developed computer courses for adults in computers. This program called Everyday Digital is what makes ITEC known for helping adults see the possibilities with technology even though they never grew up with it. The computer courses include: Computer Basics Level I and II, Introduction to Microsoft Office Levels I and II also detailed below:

Computer Basics/Introduction to Computers and the Internet, Levels I and II

These separate courses introduce beginning users to the components of a computer, use of the keyboard and mouse, and Microsoft Windows. In Level I, students will learn to create, save, and manage files, send email, how to safely explore the internet, and use of popular social networking sites. Level II cements and expands on these skills, teaching students essential job searching skills, how to navigate the most commonly used web sites, and how to download and manage photos.

Introduction to Microsoft Office, Levels I and II

This course is designed as the “next step” for those who want to expand skills to include Microsoft Office 2010. Participants will use Word to create business letters and documents. Introductory spreadsheet and presentation skills will be developed using Excel and PowerPoint. Participants should be comfortable using Windows and basic file management before enrolling. The last portion of Programs within ITEC was also developed recently as the demand for knowledge from adults exceeded expectations. These Computer Extensions, as the program is called is developing separate but free classes to those who want to expand their knowledge of specifica courses, like learning how to use the keyboard and mouse basic classes, or learning to use the internet to one’s advantage for job search, or the most recent class, the photography class and learning how to import photos from cameras, usb, cellphones, etc. These 12 courses are being planned out by most interest in class or further reviewing from the computer classes. Not only are they free of charge but the smaller classes have more attention to ask specific questions to be answered.

Technology

This new age in technology has helped us view the necessities of the generation that we live in today and combine the knowledge of the youth with those of the adults. This dynamic communication helps us become more aware of our surroundings and can help everyone become more open to views of society. Technology is very important to our society since it surrounds us already; the need to learn and catch up with new gadgets being develop lets us be a part of the evolving group. It lets us discover our world in a different perspective and allows us to change how we want the world to be seen through new lens of technology.

Support

The support found in each of these programs varies within collaboration and partnership of the community, businesses, educational funds, and the help from the government. Capital-region partners that have helped exclusively are the Prima Civitas Foundation; Holmes Street Neighborhood Association; Spartan Internet Corp.; City of East Lansing; Lansing School District; Dewpoint Inc.; TechSmith, Inc.; Lansing Community Colleg; and eight Academic units at Michigan State University. ITEC's business plan includes direct revenue generation, foundation support and corporate sponsorship. ITEC sees the need to corporation which leads to success.

Future Endeavors

Beginning Spring 2012, ITEC is offering an 8 week Computer Basics course, combining Level I and elements of Level II, at the Oak Park YMCA on Lansing’s south side. Also new this year, Cristo Rey Community Center is offering a version of our Basics class in Spanish on Lansing’s north side called Tech en la Casa.

Works Cited

Website: ITEC Lansing Everyday Digital. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.iteclansing.org/programs/everyday-digital/>.

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/company/767045

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/ITECLansing

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ITECLansing