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STEM Makes Cars Safer, Buildings Taller, Enables Hearing and Moves Giant Magnets!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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As I reflect on the content of videos I have shared or watched in social media this week, I’m simply in awe at the creativity and ingenuity of humans and how we have used science, technology and engineering (and math) for our health, safety and progress.

Some of these videos represent topics fresh this week and some have been out for a while, but in watching them there is no denying that STEM has brought us a long way and continues to improve our lives.

First up is an impressive demonstration carried out in 2009 of how materials science and engineering have helped make car crashes MUCH less dangerous. A 1959 Bel Air and a 2009 Chevy Malibu are sent crashing into each other. Cars are made so much safer now than they used to be. And it’s not just about the science and engineering, regulations that ensure every car is equipped with safety features are critical, too.

The following heartwarming story reminds us that medical technology continues to improve the lives of adults and children. The look on the face of 3 year old Grayson Clamp after his successful auditory brain stem implant operation in North Carolina as he hears his father’s voice for the first time is priceless. This surgery is the first of its kind performed in the United States as part of an FDA investigational trial. The device was originally used for patients with deafness due to auditory nerve tumors, which impact hearing, but is now being considered to help restore hearing in children.

Fresh out today by Google Street View is a video of how they have been working to document the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 828 meters (2,716 feet). The Burj Khalifa is an architectural and engineering marvel and the new Trekker camera device is quite nifty, too.

Muon g-2 magnet to be transported to Fermilab

Were you aware that a giant electromagnet, the Muon g-2, will be moving along waterways from Brookhaven labs in New York, down the east coast, around Florida and up into Illinois to Fermilab in the suburbs of Chicago to be repurposed there? The process has begun and you can follow the trip at this website. I am excited as it will be moved along rivers in Illinois and I will definitely make a trip to go see it pass by! The magnet in and of itself is quite impressive, but what a feat to move this without damaging it, much less without disrupting traffic and taking down powerlines!

What have been some of your favorite videos demonstrating some of the most amazing STEM advances this week?

image of the muon g-2 magnet courtesy of Fermilab

Joanne Manaster About the Author: Joanne Manaster is a university level cell and molecular biology lecturer with an insatiable passion for science outreach to all ages. Enjoy her quirky videos at www.joannelovesscience.com, on twitter @sciencegoddess and on her Facebook page at JoanneLovesScience Follow on Twitter @sciencegoddess.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. explorewithmeg 8:38 pm 06/24/2013

    Nice article! There are so many truly inspiring pieces of STEM work.

    Link to this

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