BOCA RATON, FL — Inspiring South Florida’s youth to take an active role in the future of science and technology is no easy task, but with the help of NASA and local businesses like Modernizing Medicine, Inc.®, teachers at Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School and Atlantic Community High School are doing just that.
In late 2012, a group of teachers submitted an application to NASA’s Microgravity eXperience program to build an experiment that tests how convection is impacted by different amounts of gravity. The proposal was selected and the group turned to the community to make its out-of-this-world experiment a reality.
“This experience was all about teachers and students doing science together, and having the guidance and support of local technology leaders was a natural fit,” said Kris Swanson, a teacher at Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School and one of the people who spearheaded the project. “We knew what we wanted to build, but didn’t have the engineering chops to make it happen — that is until the team at Modernizing Medicine stepped in. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
The Modernizing Medicine technology team normally works on transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. In this case, a group of volunteers joined other business leaders to develop and fund the experiment. By providing engineering resources to the project, Modernizing Medicine’s team helped third and fourth grade students at Poinciana Elementary STEM Magnet School and honors physics students at Atlantic Community High School create a device called the “Convectioninator,” a tool the classes would use to observe and measure the impacts that gravity has on convection.
“When we learned the proposal was accepted, we sent some of our best and brightest to help the teachers bring the experiment to life,” said Daniel Cane President and CEO of Modernizing Medicine. “Fascinated by science myself, I know how life changing these experiences can be for students, and I wanted Modernizing Medicine to help make it happen. The Poniciana / Atlantic Microgravity Team won an award for community involvement in the project, and we are proud of Modernizing Medicine’s team of Adam Gresh, Ben Aiken, Luis Moss, Mahesh Neelakanta and Ben Rigas who contributed to the project’s success.”
The students first used the device to observe convection at normal Earth gravity (1g). Then as part of NASA’s Microgravity eXperience program, their teachers traveled to Houston to use the device during two flights on NASA’s Microgravity Training Aircraft. The “Convectioninator” recorded data on the impact that 0g and 2g had on the device. When the students return to school this fall, they will analyze the data collected at the NASA facilities and complete the experiment.
“South Florida is on its way to becoming the next tech hub, and encouraging our local students to invent, imagine and have fun with science is one way we’re going to help make that happen,” stated Adam Gresh, Director of Software Engineering. “It’s a cause our co-founders, Daniel Cane and Dr. Michael Sherling, are also personally committed to and one that can have an incredible impact on our children and the local economy. A project like this where students can put their hands on something that has an interesting history, that’s been places and done things and then apply science and math skills to the object and the data it gathered can really fuel their imaginations.”
In addition to sending volunteers for the “Convectioniator” project, the Modernizing Medicine team has worked closely with the students and faculty at Florida Atlantic University to drive awareness of the local technology and science scene. Most recently, Cane and a group of FAU faculty were called to the United Nations to participate in a panel discussion on “Building Partnerships in the Field of Education through Science, Technology and Innovation.” Daniel Cane also serves on the board of the South Florida Science Center.
For more information on the “Convectioninator” project visit: http://microgravity.poincianastem.org.
About Modernizing Medicine
Modernizing Medicine® is transforming how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes. Our product, Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), is a cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system with a massive library of built-in medical content, designed to save physicians time. Available as a native iPad application or from any web-enabled Mac or PC, EMA adapts to each provider’s unique style of practice and is designed to interface with hundreds of different practice management systems. Today, Modernizing Medicine provides specialty-specific offerings for the dermatology, ophthalmology, optometry, orthopedics and plastic and cosmetic surgery markets, and to more than 1,000 physician practices across the country. In 2013 Modernizing Medicine was listed at No. 47 on Forbes’ annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies.
For more information, contact:
Tara Auclair Ryan