Technology

Net neutrality backers target Latta with billboard

From FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE Today (Tuesday, Aug. 29) digital rights organization Fight for the Future unveiled 3 more crowdfunded billboards targeting Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers,  Bob Latta, and Greg Walden, members of Congress who have publicly supported the FCC’s efforts to gut net neutrality protections that keep the web free from censorship, throttling, and extra fees. The three new billboards are the latest in an ongoing campaign focused on lawmakers who oppose Internet freedom. Earlier this month the group launched an initial round of net neutrality billboards targeting six different lawmakers in states across the country. The move comes just hours before the FCC’s final deadline for public input on their controversial plan to repeal net neutrality. With lawmakers still in their home districts, the billboards – paid for by hundreds of small donations – appear in three different states. Since the massive July 12th day of action, millions have contacted their representatives – who have oversight over the FCC – to ensure these key protections are not changed or removed. The billboards send a strong message to any Members of Congress contemplating support for the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality, which is currently being tracked through a “congressional scorecard” on BattleForTheNet.com. So far very few…


‘Making It’ camp builds kids’ interest in manufacturing

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Their assignment was serious: Design a glider that can carry a spectrometer over Lake Erie to identify algal blooms before they reach dangerous levels. Their supplies were not so serious: A shoe box, cardboard, duct tape, popsicle sticks, yarn, aluminum foil, Saran wrap and pennies. The young engineers were middle school students, mostly from Bowling Green, who signed up last month for a five-day manufacturing camp, called “Making It.” The camp was designed to help Wood County students learn about manufacturing, teamwork and local production facilities. In addition to spending one day engineering gliders at Bowling Green State University, the students also visited manufacturing sites in Wood County, including Owens-Illinois, Home Depot, Lubrizol and Northwood Industries. Students toured each of the sites to get a better picture of what modern industries look like. Penta Career Center also hosted an advanced manufacturing lab using robotics. The goal was to show students that manufacturing no longer means repetitive, thoughtless processes. In many cases, it involved high-tech engineering skills. “This is some really good hands-on experience,” said Maria Simon, of Wood County District Public Library, which was one of the camp sponsors. “It’s not just…


Girls sink their teeth into STEM … and sharks

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The slimy, smelly spiny dogfish sharks were placed on the lab tables in front of the young girls. “Ewwwww,” one girl said squeamishly. “I can never eat gummy sharks again,” another girl said. This was the moment they had been waiting for at Tech Trek week – shark dissection. They were armed with gloves, scalpels and scissors to open up the gray sharks native to Australia. Some were a little timid about slicing into the sharks. “Oh my goodness,” one girl said with apprehension. Others were ready to explore. “I call dibs on making the first cut,” another said with glee. The shark dissection class Wednesday at Bowling Green State University’s Tech Trek week was just one of several sessions to help the participants realize that their female gender should not keep them from careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The fifth annual Tech Trek, supported by the American Association of University Women, is intended to make STEM educations and careers more accessible to girls. The program is only open to girls, so they are encouraged to pursue their STEM interests in an environment free from stereotypes, and given the…


Programs on using iPad & books for WWI soldiers on tap at library

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT LIBRARY Each Monday in June (6/ 5, 6/12, 6/19, and 6/26) the Wood County District Public Library (Bowling Green) offers iPad for Beginners classes in its 2nd Floor Meeting Room. Class sessions start at 11 am, and will cover new material each week. The workshops will provide an easy-going, fun environment in which to explore the basic functions of your iPad. Areas covered include: the hardware, settings, navigation, app basics. Registration required. To register, call 419-352-5050. Join us Tuesday, June 6 at 7 pm, for “Books Wanted for Our Men Over There.” Learn how the Library War Service, established in 1917 by the American Library Association, used money from private donations to create camp libraries and distribute over 7 million books and magazines to U.S. soldiers serving in World War I. WCDPL’s Michele Raine shares the history of this service and insights into the impact access to books had on those serving in the war. 2nd Floor Meeting Room. All programs are free and open to all. For more information, contact the library at 419-352-5104,


BGSU taps state grant to get ideas flowing at Collab-Lab

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A state Third Frontier grant will help Bowling Green State University launch new research, teaching and commercial ideas. The money comes part of $8.7 million in funding that’s half state money and half matching funds from the institutions. The money was awarded  to NextTech, a collaborative organization comprised of BGSU, Mercy Health, ProMedica, and the University of Toledo, which is the Entrepreneurial Service Provider for Northwest Ohio. Michael Ogawa, BGSU vice president for research and economic engagement, said the university’s share is about $707,000, half from the state, half from BGSU. That money will help to create the Collab-Lab, a new initiative to help faculty staff, and students work together to create new ideas. The lab will be in the first floor of Jerome Library, across from the elevators. Now there’s a technical support lab and a classroom in the space. That area, said Jerry Schnepp, the lab director, will be gutted to create a 2,000-square foot lab. Work begins May 10 and the lab will open of the start of the fall semester. The library as the intellectual heart of campus is the right place for the lab, Ogawa said. Though the space…


Phishing attack hits several BGSU employees in pocketbook

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Four university employees recently had their banking information hacked, with three having their pay redirected, and one of them had a fraudulent tax return filed by hackers. John Ellinger, the university’s chief information officer, reported on the incidents at Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting. He did not notify campus through a mass email because he did not want to tip off the hackers about how the university was responding. He assured the senate that no university data had been accessed. However, the way that information could be endanger is if hackers find a pathway using personal data of those who have access to university information. Ellinger said the problems began in January when the employees – three faculty and one staff member – clicked on a phishing e-mail originating from an account at Texas Tech. The e-mail subject line read “get you pay here.” With that connection, he said, the hackers were able to shadow the accounts. None of the four had completed the new Duo security protocol being implemented on the university’s MyBGSU system. As of today everyone will have to have signed in the two-step authentication process to access MyBGSU. Using information culled…


Air Force & School of Human Movement, Sport & Leisure Studies form partnership

From 88th Air Base Wing Office of Public Affairs The Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing has signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with Bowling Green State University’s School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies due to a mutual interest in the areas of human biomechanics and three-dimensional (3D) motion analysis. An EPA is a type of technology transfer agreement between a federal laboratory and an educational institution that enables the transfer or development of technological resources and applications, such as equipment, facilities and professional expertise. Under this agreement, AFRL’s 711th Human Performance Wing and Bowling Green State University, a public university in Ohio, collaboratively developed research projects to be conducted at BGSU. The 711 HPW loaned motion analysis equipment to BGSU, which enabled BGSU students and faculty to conduct research of benefit to both parties. Several research papers have been published regarding the multiple projects that were conducted through the equipment loan. “The purpose of the EPA is to encourage and enhance study in scientific disciplines. AFRL/711 HPW found that working with BGSU was mutually beneficial and validated the importance of partnering with academia,” said Jennifer Whitestone, biomedical engineer, AFRL 711 HPW. “Sharing technologies and assets with our…


Peace Lutheran powers Christian mission with light from the sun

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Peace Lutheran demonstrates its faith by the cross that rises high atop its steeple. The solar panels that were installed recently are also a demonstration of the congregation’s faith. “Here’s a faith expression that God is resourceful and generous,” said Pastor Deb Conklin. The solar panels fit in its Creation Care ministry. The solar panels were paid for by a behest from long-time neighbors Leonard and Margaret David. On Sunday, Feb. 5, at 10:30 a.m. the church will dedicate and give thanks for the solar panels and donation as part of its 10:30 a.m. worship experience. The donation was a surprise, Conklin said. The Davises were not members of a congregation, though Mrs. Davis did attend some of the church’s many community functions. Conklin had already been considering what environmental action the church could do and had attended an Ohio Interfaith Power & Light conference. She’d also discussed the environment and what the church could do with local activist Neocles Leontis. Then in 2014 the lawyer handling the Davis estate stopped by the church with a $5,000 check. That was, he informed her, just the start. She wasn’t at the church, she said, when…


LEGO teams face off in robot tourney at BGSU

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University will host a FIRST LEGO League event Saturday, Jan. 14 on the second floor of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Guided by adult coaches, FIRST LEGO League teams research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling or energy and are challenged to develop a solution. They must also design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology, then compete on a tabletop playing field. This event, organized by the Sylvania STEM Center, northwest Ohio’s regional gathering space for STEM education and exploration, consists of teams of students in grades four through eight. This year’s challenge is Animal Allies and teams have been tasked to identify a problem when people and animals interact and design a solution that makes the interaction better for animals, people or both. This tournament is the second-level competition for 23 teams from northwest Ohio. Each of these teams earned their place in the tournament by securing top spots at regional tournaments. The top nine teams will advance to the state championship in Dayton in February. FIRST LEGO League allows kids to combine science, technology, engineering and math concepts with imagination to solve a problem. During…


Top scientists engage youngsters in Kids’ Tech University at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Paul Morris knows that Kids’ Tech University presented at Bowling Green State University has a lot going for it. Each of the four weeks features an esteemed scientist who knows how to talk to children age 9 to 12 about their research. And then the kids have carefully designed activities related to the science that allow students to do the work of science themselves. Then there’s Morris’ hair. He sports a frizzy mop of white hair. Morris said he’s gotten enough comments on it, he’s decided to stop cutting his hair. “I look the part.” It’s a silly way to get across a key element of the program. “The idea that children are being directed by a real scientist that’s part of the excitement we want to capture.” Registration is now underway for the program that runs four Saturdays throughout the semester starting Feb. 11 and continuing Feb. 25, March 18, and April 8. Each starts at 10 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m. or so. Registration is $90. Visit http://kidstechuniversity-bgsu.vbi.vt.edu/. The mission is to get children excited about science, technology, engineering and math before they get into middle school. The Feb. 11 session…


Faculty Senate acts on degrees in aviation, software engineering

 By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate last week took action on degrees in aviation and software engineering. Now students who study aviation at BGSU get a Bachelor’s of Science in Technology degree. That doesn’t reflect what they’ve spent four years studying, said Carl Braun, the liaison for the aviation program. When BGSU graduates apply for aviation jobs, they face questions about exactly what that degree means. “This helps the industry recognize Bowling Green as having an aviation program,” Braun said. For students, he said, “they finally get to have a reflection of their four years of hard work.” The new degree, Braun said, is simply a name change which he expects will go in place next fall. And despite requests by some alumni, it will not be retroactive. The senate also approved a new degree a Bachelor’s Science in Software Engineering. Robert Dyer, a professor of computer science, said there’s a growing need, about 17 percent a year, for software engineers. “We see a lot of demand in industry,” he said. “They want software engineers. … Software drives everything we do.” This will be only the second such program in the state, and…


BG Women in Computing gets Google grant

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The BG Women in Computing (BGWIC) student organization at the University has received a Google igniteCS grant for a proposed mentorship program benefiting middle school girls (grades 5-8). The $10,000 grant to promote computer science education provides funding and resources for Code4Her, a new computer science mentorship program for girls. Proposed and administered by BGWIC, the program will connect middle school-aged girls with BGWIC mentors to learn about computer programming. In the session that will begin in January 2017, lessons will be come through exploration of Lego EV3 Mindstorms robots. Each girl will work with her own BGSU student mentor; the mentors are all computer science majors and BGWIC members. “Our members are very passionate about supporting girls in computer science, and we wanted to expand our outreach to the community,” said Rebeccah Knoop, BGWIC president. “We have deep admiration for Google’s commitment to making computer science accessible to all, so we are incredibly honored to have been selected. We are not a large organization, but we believe that we can have a great impact on the community and are very thankful to igniteCS for recognizing that and supporting our program.” The Google…


High school teams Bet the Farm in BGSU robotics competition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Robots invaded farm country Saturday. They came with only the best intentions though. Farmland in question was a course set up on the floor of the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University. The robots were miniature farm tractors tricked out by 17 teams from high schools from around the state and Indiana. The teams came to compete in the fourth Falcon BEST Robotics Game Day… this year the theme was Bet the Farm. The “farm’ in this case was divided into four quadrants, one for each team. The teams had to maneuver their machines through the course to collect and plant corn seeds, harvest corn cobs from racks as well as plant lettuce, and harvest lettuce and pumpkins – all plastic facsimiles. For Laura Dietz, the advisor for the Bowling Green High School team, the event, gives students as chance “to learn engineering process and problems solving.” For the Bobcat team that problem solving involved a working on a last minute adjustment to their robot’s arm. That’s all part of the competition, said Brandi Barhite, a member of the Falcon BEST committee. “If something breaks down you have to make adjustments,” she said….


High school robotics teams to compete at BGSU Oct. 8

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Teams of students from 17 area high schools and middle schools will showcase their talents during the fourth annual Falcon BEST Robotics competition Oct. 8 at Bowling Green State University. Area schools with teams competing this year are: Anthony Wayne High School, Bowling Green High School, Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School, EHOVE Career Center, Hamilton Southeastern High School, Maumee Valley Country Day School, McComb High School, Millstream Career Center, Patrick Henry High School, Paulding High School, Perrysburg High School, Port Clinton High School, Sandusky Central Catholic School, St. Francis de Sales School, St. Ursula Academy, Sylvania Southview High School, and Vanguard Technology Center. Game Day kicks off in the Stroh Center at 9:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies, which will include a welcome and parade of robots. The competition will follow at 10 a.m. as the teams and their robots master Bet the Farm 2016, a competition of skill and strategy. The event will conclude with awards at approximately 3:15 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend Game Day to support the teams and their robots as they compete; all events are free. Students are coached by dedicated and enthusiastic teachers and team mentors,…


STEM in the Park makes learning loud, messy & fun

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Learning can be pretty loud and messy. Just ask the kids covered in foam bubbles. Or the kids making concrete. Or the ones building rockets. For the seventh year in a row, a whole lot of learning masqueraded as fun at STEM in the Park at Bowling Green State University on Saturday. “We want to make learning fun and we want to spark interest in the STEM fields” of science, technology, engineering and math, said Jenna Pollock, coordinator of the event organized by the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education. An estimated 5,000 grade school kids, their parents and volunteers showed up to play. All the events were hands-on, with the messier ones relegated to the outside. There was a “Cootie Camp,” where kids could enter a black tent to get a peek at the germs covering them. There was a giant foam machine shooting foamy bubbles all over kids. There was a sloth and a vulture from the Toledo Zoo. And yes, before you ask, this is education – just in a sneaky form. “We do make it fun,” Pollock said. “They are learning without thinking they are learning.”…