App Review: Tinkerplay

Cost: Free Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Age Levels: 6 and up iPad App Link 

Autodesk keeps going away from its old tradition of expensive desktop software with this free app aimed at kids that not only takes full advantage of a touch interface, but also adds the capability of 3D printing. 

At first […]


Engineers Decide

I wrote Engineers Decide because I want every young person to be able to envision himself or herself doing engineering. I know that most will not become engineers, but too many children never even see the possibility.

I originally wrote the book in 2008, which is about the time my oldest child was old enough […]


Khan Academy: Zero Meaning Plus Zero Motivation Equals Zero Learning

I fear that we’ve been seduced by the soothing voice and colorful telestrator technology at the highly popular Khan Academy website, which features thousands of videos on all topics math, science, economics, and others. I admit I do not understand the recent obsession with site, which has burst onto the educational and public scene over […]


Understanding the “Designed World”

A young person’s ingenuity starts with a basic understanding that the “designed world,” comprised of the human designed and made products that fill our lives, does not appear magically. They are designed and made with a specific purpose in mind, to meet some specific human desire or need. In the case of commercial and industrial […]


The Electrical Grid

I thought my family had escaped the misfortune of losing power during Hurricane Irene until our power went out late in the afternoon on Sunday for about six hours. Even that moment I had started to ponder the technologies within our power grid system that were keeping it active for most and getting it back […]


ReCAPTCHA Challenge Response System

No doubt you’ve had to type something in response to something like this when you wanted to cast an online vote, buy some tickets, sign up for a new account, or take care of some other task in your online life:

Image via Donielle's flickr photostream

This is called a CAPTCHA and it is […]


The Ingenuity Series: Q&A with Richard Worzel

Last week, I posed a question to author and leading futurist Richard Worzel in a Facebook Q&A session sponsored by Canada’s The Mark News. Below is the excerpt from the conversation.

Janosz: What and how do we need to teach our young people to best prepare them for the future?

Worzel: Well, I can tell […]


Teaching Tomorrow's Engineers Today

Everyone seems to know that one needs a solid background in math and science in order to be an engineer. Math and science are part of what I call a student’s “ingenuity toolkit” and professional engineers draw upon this knowledge every day in their professional life as they set out to design, create, invent, innovate, […]


Student Motivation and Envisioning Success

Johnny is entering the ninth grade in Springfield High School. Having been historically an “average” B-C student, mathematics has always been exceptionally challenging to him. During the past summer, his parents arranged for a personal tutor to do one session per week with him. Also wanting a fresh start of sorts in math going into […]



The profession I most closely identify with has been challenged since I’ve entered into it, perhaps longer, with an identity crisis. This is not surprising; I believe that many others in education are hard-pressed to articulate why they teach what they teach. To me, this discussion is very much about identifying the personal quality that […]