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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: STEM in Focus
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By Deborah Haralson
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

This summer, we had a great opportunity to host a Phoenix Comicon panel on “Cyber Security in Star Wars.” While researching for the topic, we began to realize that the Empire provides numerous examples of what can go wrong (and how) here on earth when implementing business-class, enterprise-caliber security policy. Examples include:

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By Al Kelly, MCIS
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Free WiFi networks have seen an explosive growth in recent years. You can find them at your local coffee shop, restaurants and even college campuses. All your personal electronic devices have built-in wireless interfaces and they are eager to make the connection. But, is free really free? Ask the question: Who is sharing the network with you?

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Mark your calendars! The College of Science, Engineering and Technology is excited to announce a brand new technology speaker series for the 2017-2018 academic year. This series will feature dynamic technology professionals discussing topics relevant to the field, including current issues in security and cloud computing. There will also be speakers offering advice to help get students career-ready, with topics such as planning your technology career, internships and more!

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By Ilse Kremer, MA, MS
Faculty, College of Science, Engineering and Technology 

Introductory Anatomy and Physiology, affectionately known as “A & P,” is rumored to be one of the toughest classes on Grand Canyon University’s campus. I’ve taught this course for over 15 years and in that time, I’ve seen two types of students: those who are actively engaged in class and interact with the material by taking notes and asking questions and those who are just there to collect attendance or participation points. Most of the time, the latter type of student is only halfway listening to a lecture, spending time on Facebook or Twitter, or doing homework for another class. Invariably, the students who pay attention are the ones who score higher on exams and get better grades in the class overall.

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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 Gianni De Bruyn
MBA Student, Colangelo College of Business

How many times have you thought about picking up a new skill, whether it is perfecting your jump shot to mimic Michael Jordan’s or learning a new language, in order to make yourself more marketable? If you are like me, then you have started this process multiple times. But after less than satisfactory results or progression, you decided to give up or allocate more time to it later.

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By Kathryn Scott, MEd
Director, Strategic Educational Alliances 

Computer science is woven into the fabric of our culture and used in almost every field, driving job growth and innovation throughout our economy and society. According to an article on LinkedIn, computing occupations are the number one source of all new wages in the U.S., making computer science one of the most in-demand college degrees.

Yet, a 2015 Gallup poll found that about 91 percent of our K-12 parents want their child’s school to teach computer science, but according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 40 percent of the schools teach it. 

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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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