Did you know the February earthquake in Chile which followed the devastating quake in Haiti in January this year was 500 times stronger, but caused only 1% of the loss of life which was attributed to the Haitian earthquake? Why the difference, when the earthquake in Chile was so much stronger? In the eight minute TEDTalk video, “Haiti’s disaster of engineering,” Peter Haas explains why the overwhelming loss of life in Haiti was caused primarily by ENGINEERING and construction failures, not natural forces.
This is a real eye opener. If we want to help more students enter STEM career fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) many things are needed. One important need is helping students understand why engineering matters. This video provides a vivid example and story about how engineers can make a HUGE difference in the lives of millions of people.
WARNING AND TIP: As is the case (unfortunately) with many YouTube videos, the comments on this video are not moderated and include profane as well as tasteless sentences. If you’re going to share this with students, consider one of the following options so no one is subjected to the comments:
- Download the video to your local hard drive, instead of playing it directly from YouTube.
- Play the video from the TEDTalks website, instead of YouTube.
- Play the video on YouTube from within the TEDTalk channel, rather than on its separate YouTube page. (This view doesn’t show comments.)*
According to his TED bio page:
Inveterate tinkerer Peter Haas is the co-founder of AIDG, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, which connect people to electricity, sanitation and clean water through a combination of business incubation, education, and outreach.
Peter’s work would be great to share with students who are talking about ways to make a big difference in the world. I’m thinking of work Paul Allison and others are doing with students in the National Writing Project, as well as discussions Bob Sprankle, Cheryl Oakes, and Alice Barr had with Adora Svitak recently. I’m also thinking of the amazing students at TEDxRedmond.
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On this day..
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- Share Your Ideas for K-12 Online 2011: Purposeful Play - 2011
- Remote Control iPad Presentations #edapp - 2010
- Online Content Can Be Persistent (even when people try to take it offline) - 2010
- Again, U.S. federal funds used to strong arm state legislators - 2009
- The Maine Department of Tourism is Taking Care of Travelers - 2009
- Lunch with Clay Shirkey and Alan Kay - 2008
- Obama on Flickr and Validating Information Sources - 2007
- Seize the moment and make the most of NOW - 2007
- The gauntlet has been tossed - 2007