Difference Makers, August 2012

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, MA D ’68, has stepped down as president of Second Nature, an organization whose “mission is to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education.” Dr. Cortese is co-founder of Second Nature and served as president from 1993 to 2012.

According to the article, Second Nature has been pushing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, a pact that holds colleges to a difficult pledge: to reduce emissions enough to become climate neutral. Dr. Cortese has degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University.

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Three graduate student females from Stanford University have formed a start-up company “aiming to create toys that encourage young girls to study science, technology, engineering and math.” Maykah recently released its first toy, Roominate – “a dollhouse for girls to build, from decorating it with wallpaper to installing the circuits that power the lights, fans and door buzzer.”

Read the article from the San Francisco Chronicle, which also highlights other current companies working on tech-oriented projects aimed at girls.

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Engineers and scientists at NASA have started a trend of reporting to work on “Mars time” for the first three months of every mission to Mars. Lead Flight Director at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, David Oh (MA B ’91), and his family have taken this idea one step further. During the summer, the whole family has been living according to the time and longer day cycle on Mars.

The experiment has lasted for two weeks and will end once school starts for Oh’s three children. Read the full article for details on the advantages and disadvantages reported by Oh, Sc.D., and his family to living on Mar’s time

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