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The College of Science, Engineering and Technology offers degree programs that prepare students for high-demand professions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. With an emphasis on Grand Canyon University’s Christian worldview, our college believes in instilling social awareness, responsibility, ethical character and compassion. Our blog, BrainSTEM, focuses on topics related to science, engineering and technology, with engaging contributions from students, staff and faculty. On the blog, you can find helpful resources relating to STEM fields and learn more about current events occurring globally, locally and within GCU. We hope to provide our readers with information that helps them learn about the necessary knowledge, skills and mental disciplines to succeed in today’s job market.
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Category: Current Events
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By Andrea Strock, MNS
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Since 1995, NASA has discovered close to 3,500 exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our own sun. On Feb. 22, 2017, NASA held a news briefing out of their headquarters in Washington, DC announcing that astronomers had discovered a set of seven more exoplanets using a global network of telescopes.

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By Isac Artzi, PhD
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

The challenge presented in part 1 of this blog can be addressed by an algorithm I developed as part of my ongoing research on learning styles. It is illustrated in the flowchart below.

A particular learner is measured on n different learning characteristics, p1, p2 … pn. For illustration purposes, the profile used in the flowchart is a learner whose profile consists of a visual ability rated at 2, audio ability of 8, expressive ability of 6 and technical ability of 9.

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By Isac Artzi, PhD
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

There are many challenges in the process of designing online instruction that address a students’ unique and diverse learning styles. A main challenge is that learning styles are assumed to be static in most, if not all, assessment tests.

The reason this is a problem is that a one-time learning style assessment does not take into account situational, psychological and educational changes over time. The second part is that learning management systems (LMS) present content without being mindful of individual learning preferences. For example, visual students need more visual content and textual students need the content to be presented as text. When LMS content presentation is based on a one-time learning style assessment, or worse, on the assumption that all learners should receive the same presentation media, this is problematic.

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By Neal Adam, PhD
Professor, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

At the end of August, Grand Canyon University Public Safety Officer Ryan Sand gave a presentation to our College of Science, Engineering and Technology faculty on Active Shooter awareness. The presentation covered several topics, including a procedure to follow when an active shooter alarm is given, what to do when a student is belligerent, a reminder to always be aware of exits and even a refresher on the use of a fire extinguisher. 

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By Mark Wireman, DC
Assistant Professor, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

I was recently asked to participate in a self-defense class with a few fellow faculty members. In all honesty, I agreed to attend just to be part of the group, and I did not really put much thought into the content we would learn in the class.

In retrospect, I should have been more prepared. To be clear, I am not referring to being prepared physically (I am an avid runner for the past two years), but more of being prepared mentally.

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By Isac Artzi, PhD
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Much has been written recently about the discovery of evidence that points towards the existence of gravitational waves. Rather than repeating what has already been widely reported, let us examine another perspective on this discovery.

Back in 1916, Albert Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves as a “side effect” of his general theory of relativity. Einstein noted that since mass and energy are interchangeable, large bodies of mass or large amounts of energy could affect (i.e. distort) space-time, which can be viewed as a fabric. What is commonly referred to as gravitation is nothing other than a bend in the fabric of space-time. Distortions could in turn cause ripples throughout the fabric.

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It is no secret that Grand Canyon University President and CEO Brian Mueller works incredibly hard to strive for growth and success within GCU’s campus and community. One of his most recent awards was the 2015 “Non-Member” of the year by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Phoenix Section. He was recognized for his leadership in expanding STEM programs at GCU, offering affordable education and revitalizing West Phoenix socially and economically.

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By Brian Sillanpaa, MD
Assistant Professor, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Search EBSCOhost for the measles vaccine and autism, and you will pull up hundreds of articles. Do a Google search, and you will get thousands of hits. Go and ask parents who have children who suffer from autism, and I guarantee the vast majority will state unequivocally that there is a link.

In fact, go ahead and ask Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and let me know how that goes.

You see, Dr. Wakefield is the guy who started this whole controversy. You might not know this, but it started in England in 1998.

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