Learning Blade Announces "Hack Attack" Computer Science Mission

Friday, October 21, 2016

Chattanooga-based Thinking Media’s Learning Blade announced the new “Hack Attack” Computer Science Mission to over 400 attending the Arkansas Public School Resource Center (APSRC) Annual Conference in Hot Springs this week. Arkansas has led the nation by the passage of Computer Science Education and Jobs Act of 2015, which provides computer coding classes to all Arkansas high schools.  The Governor supported offering Learning Blade to all middle schools to build a foundation of STEM career awareness and interest in computer science careers for every middle school student.  The new mission focuses on computer science careers and technologies and is now available through a partnership with the APSRC to the over 450 schools who have activated their licenses.  Lt. Governor Tim Griffin delivered an inspiring message encouraging more STEM exposure in schools.

The Learning Blade system includes "Missions" that focus on societal issues, enabling students to participate in engaging lessons such as building an environmentally-sound orphanage after a major earthquake or solving energy and transportation needs in a city.  In the “Hack Attack” students are on a mission to help develop improved cyber security to protect their school from future information hacks.  Learning Blade also provides teachers with valuable feedback on student skills while demonstrating the relevance of academics in real life.

Arkansas Commissioner of Education Johnny Key, an engineer himself, commented that “We appreciate Learning Blade’s interdisciplinary approach to introducing students to STEM careers including in computer science.  The fact that all the Missions in Learning Blade highlight the positive role STEM professionals play in society is a recipe for success.”

Learning Blade’s "Hack Attack" was designed in collaboration with and sponsored by TATA Consultancy Services with offices in Arkansas.   Balaji Ganapathy, head of HR Workforce Effectiveness for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reiterates the need and importance of career awareness in middle schools.  “We witness at TCS every day a growing need for computer science professionals in varied industries across the country.  That is why we supported the development of the “Hack Attack” mission. Research confirms that students will not strive for careers they do not know exist.  We believe Learning Blade helps kids see themselves as computer science professionals, better understanding the important roles they play in solving societal issues.  Where else can they learn about the careers of data scientists, UI/UX designers or information security analysts in a single platform. This program will benefit all middle school students in Arkansas and beyond.”

Learning Blade president and CEO, Sheila Boyington highlights Learning Blade’s incredible results saying, "Our recent research shows that after using Learning Blade produces a statistically significant increase in interest in STEM careers. Over 70% of participating students indicate that they learn about new careers with a 97% increase in students who say ‘I would like to be an engineer or scientist in the future.”

On Sept. 14, Arkansas’ statewide adoption of Learning Blade was included in the White House’s Computer Science Summit fact sheet. “Thinking Media is committing to exposing up to 30,000 middle school students in 320 schools in Arkansas to CS careers through the Governor of Arkansas’s initiative to deliver Learning Blade, a tool for increasing STEM career awareness, by December 2017. In addition, at a national level, TATA Consultancy Services will collaborate with Thinking Media and Learning Blade to introduce 10 CS careers and technologies in way that emphasizes social interaction and impact.”



UTC Wins National Award For Engineering Research Project

A research project at UTC has been named one of the 50 best in the country.  The Underground Infrastructure Sensing project, headed by UTC’s Dr. Dalei Wu in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, was chosen by Smart Cities Connect Media and Research for the award. The project is a collaboration with Dr. Dryer Huston at the University of Vermont.  “We are ... (click for more)

Local Student Wins LearningRx National Presidents Day Contest

LearningRx, the world’s largest personal brain training company, has announced the winner of its 2018 National Presidents Day Contest.  Ben Daugherty, a 13-year-old who is enrolled in a LearningRx one-on-one brain training program at the LearningRx Chattanooga center, impressed the judges by playing the electric guitar and singing all 45 presidents in order. Ben’s talent ... (click for more)

Hazelwood Ordered Confined To His Home Until Sentencing In Chattanooga On June 27; Defense Renews Objection To Release Of "Incendiary" Racist Tapes

A federal magistrate in Knoxville has ordered former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood confined to his home pending sentencing in Chattanooga on June 27 on three felony convictions. The confinement at his Knoxville home is to be on a 24-hour basis except for medical needs. Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton also ordered Hazelwood, who made over $27 million his ... (click for more)

HCDE Transition Team Member Announces Candidacy For District 2 County Commission Seat

A longtime public education champion with a background in both public and private enterprise has announced she is seeking the seat of retiring District 2 Hamilton County Commissioner Jim Fields. Elizabeth Baker, a Signal Mountain resident and member of the transition team appointed last year by Dr. Bryan Johnson, Hamilton County School Superintendent, said she is committed ... (click for more)

TIF Proposal Fails Straight Face Test

Mayor Berke has put the City Council in an unenviable position. The Council will be asked to vote Tuesday on whether to use tax increment financing (TIF) to pay for a one-block extension of M.L. King Boulevard to the Riverwalk.  Accountability for Taxpayer Money supports the road extension concept and understands its timing. However, we strongly oppose using TIF future property ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Want To Buy An AK-47?

On Sunday night I got an email from a reader who I enjoy that read, “How about, ‘Don’t sell assault weapons to 18-year-olds.’ The blood is on your hands (and all the other gun and violence idolaters)!” While I beg to disagree with him, this is a nation where – right now, this minute -- there are an estimated ONE TRILLION rounds of ammunition and over 300 million firearms. I can ... (click for more)