Posts tagged with "Math"

Dad creates entertaining board game bed sheets for hospitalized children

May 7, 2019

After visiting a friend’s sick child in the hospital, Kevin Gatlin, a father himself, had an innovative idea—to create a way for hospitalized kids to learn and have fun while they are confined to bed all day. Now, his company, Playtime Edventures of Monroe, North Carolina, is entertaining kids nationwide, regardless of their circumstances, with interactive bedding and slumber bags.

The idea to make game-themed bed sheets came from a visit to the hospital, but was sparked by a family tradition. “Because of space, my wife would use our son’s bed as a desk,” Gatlin, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina, told CBS News. “They would do homework, play games or just watch movies. But, it wasn’t until I visited [a child] hospitalized for a long period of time did I realize that there was very little stimulation for kids confined to their hospital beds and rooms.”

Gatlin’s mother is a retired teacher, and she suggested making the games on the bed sheets educational. Gatlin enlisted the help of three teachers, a child physiologist and a family doctor to create Playtime Therapy Bed Sheets, which “provide kids a place where they could play, learn, sleep and heal.” According to Gatlin, it took more than two years to design the sheets, which have over 50 interactive games printed on them.

Each part of the bedding supports different types of learning. The pillows feature images and sentences that encourage kids to create stories. The flat sheet features giant board games, positive affirmations and colorful shapes. The fitted sheet is covered in mazes, word finding puzzles, games like checkers and tic-tac-toe, four different languages, math, grammar and geography.

“I wanted the sheets to have so many things for kids to do that they would never get bored playing with them,” Gatlin said. For game pieces, kids can use ordinary objects like coins or paper, or printable cut-outs from the Playtime Edventures website.

Donating has always been an important part of the company — Gatlin’s first order of bedding was donated to the Charlotte (North Carolina) Salvation Army for Women and Children.

Now, people all over the country buy the bedding to donate to children’s hospitals and hospices, shelters, juvenile centers, orphanages, group homes and summer camps. Bed sheets even can be purchased at a reduced cost ($24.99) and directly donated to hospitals and shelters.

Gatlin said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both parents and hospital staff. “I’m truly happy my rbed sheets have provided a valuable service to those who deserve it,” he said. “The blessings in life come from giving not receiving.”

Gatlin still has a few more ideas on how his bed sheets can reach even more people. “I would love the opportunity to speak with the Red Cross and FEMA about providing our bed sheets during natural disasters,” he said. “Seeing families confined to shelters with nothing to do — I believe our bed sheets could provide some distraction during those hard times.”

Research contact: @CBSNews

The social media site that job recruiters are raiding

May 9, 2018

A free website frequented by many college students has become a fertile hunting ground for job recruiters looking to hire computer and engineering professionals, based on a report posted by Bloomberg on May 7.

Silicon Valley-based Piazza Technologies. Is a private company that provides homework help for some 2.5 million students majoring in computers, engineering, math and science.

Largely unknown to the general public,.the site welcomes students to ask and answer one another’s questions — all under the supervision of their professors.

Seven years in, Piazza told Bloomberg that fully 98% of computer science students at the top 50 universities access its site; and students report using it on average for at least three hours a day. (Or, more likely, per night.)

Piazza fans abound in Palo Alto: “I have used Piazza extensively throughout my education,” Vickram Gidwani, a Stanford grad student in electrical engineering, wrote to Bloomberg in an email. “It provides a great forum for any topic in the course.”

Now, reports Bloomberg, the company is doing the obvious thing—monetizing all those eyeballs. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Pooja Nath Sankar says her site has become an ideal space for tech employers and students to meet.

In late 2016 the company launched Piazza Careers. Companies pay for access to students who opt in; they can see if a student was ranked a top participant in a class on the site—and they can narrow searches to, say, “Show me a Bio major who has taken an AI course.”

Their success rate is excellent. Piazza told Bloomberg that 90% of the messages companies send to students get opened. The career feature is particularly appealing to companies that need tech talent but aren’t necessarily on students’ radar. So far, 80 are on-board, including  WhirlpoolAirbnbNvidiaQuicken LoansBarclays, and Roche.

What’s next? Now that it’s ubiquitous among computer science majors at top colleges, Piazza is pitching itself to recruiters at less-sought-after companies as a way to find better candidates.

 Research contact: @petercoy