Table Top Inventing Podcast

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Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

What is a microbusiness?  What lessons can teenagers learn by running a microbusiness?  Can teens run successful, money-making microbusinesses?  Join us today to discover more about teens with microbusinesses.

This is the podcast where we discuss success and innovation for teenagers.  No spoiler alerts today, but if you are interested in teenagers getting a jump start, stay locked in here!  

I remember reading an article several years back that discussed the dilemma of being a modern teen. In ages past, societies considered teens to be adults, and expected them to step up into the adult world and prove their worth to the society.  If we observe the teenager, we see the deep desire for significance.

Yet in the modern system of education, teens are asked to solve problems and challenges with little or no lasting value.  With apologies to my own fields of study, solving for x or finding the equations of motion of an already well-known set of differential equations just feels hollow and thin.

How do we navigate this juxtaposition between a teenager's internal drive for significance and the typical 4 years (and possibly another 4 year in college) of knowledge gathering which seems disconnected from reality?  I'll look up the article and post it in the show notes, but the conclusion of the article was to restructure our expectations and opportunities we offer during these years filled with passion and purpose.

On the podcast we discuss an alternative to our modern conundrum of how to keep teens engaged in meaningful education.  Carol Topp is an Engineer turned accountant--I know that's an unusual shift.  In the last few years, she has worked with many teens in her accounting practice, helping them structure what she likes to call a "microbusiness".  The experiences and learning that occurs in a microbusiness can be a great catalyst toward adding significance to the otherwise "dry learning" teens dread.  Let's find out more about Carol's experience and explore some new possibilities.

Original Release Date: 10/29/15

Category: Business Professionals

Direct download: 05920-20Teen20Microbusiness20with20Carol20Topp.mp3
Category:Business Professionals -- posted at: 5:43pm PST
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Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

 

What constitutes a "good life"?  Why do some people thrive on change and variety?  What does a rancher do in his spare time?  Join us today to hear some surprising answers to those questions.

This is the podcast where we discuss the path to innovation and the good life.  Over the last year, we have spoken with lawyers, CEOs, top-tier researchers, world-class educators, and other successful individuals.  In today's episode, we are exploring a different facet of success:  the ability to adapt.

Our guest today has tried, failed, and succeeded at more types of careers than any 10 individuals combined.  Yet, with the recent job statistics, it appears that students entering the job market in the next few years may have similar experiences.  Recently, my friend Dan Miller who has been on our podcast shared with me that the average amount of type at a given job has now dropped below 3 years!  That means that over the course of a 40 year career, today's students are likely to have worked at more than 12 different companies!

What if these graduating students took the chance with today's fast-changing job market to find what they truly love as they crawled their way around different opportunities?  Today's guest shares the experiences of lifetime of different opportunities from performing weddings to being a radio personality and everything in between.  Let's listen in to find out more about Brent Gill.

Original Release Date: 10/22/15

Category: Innovative Educators

 

Direct download: 05820-20A20Good20Life20with20Brent20Gill.mp3
Category:Technology Educators -- posted at: 4:42pm PST
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Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

 

There is a crossroads in middle school. Failing to navigate them can be disastrous.

Students who struggle with math in middle school stand at a crossroads, and watch as career options slowly erode.  Do you know any of those students?  Have you ever personally felt the frustration of math limbo?

Imagine physically standing at a crossroads and watching as one road is suddenly choked by thick undergrowth creeping across while from another road a forbidding figure in black steps across your path.

I have personally watched my daughter struggle with the frustration of having the math road blocked. As a parent it hurts to see this happen.

Our guest on the podcast struggled with math in middle school and experienced the road block. However, he experienced a one-in-a-thousand opportunity to come back to the crossroads and choose a different path. His mission in life now is to keep the cross roads open for as many middle schoolers as possible.

Today's podcast is an opportunity for a second chance.  In fact, we hear second chance stories on our podcast quite frequently.  If you know a teenager or a parent with a teen who needs a second math chance, subscribe to the TTI podcast in iTunes and share it with others.

Click here to subscribe: http://InventingPodcast.com

How else will they know unless YOU show them this second chance? Subscribe and share today.

 

Original Release Date: 10/15/15

Category: Innovative Educators

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Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

Are we overlooking some of our best technical talent through subtle discrimination?  What is the best way to have influence over the public policy that influences you?  Exactly how straight or winding is the path to career success?  Join us as we discuss these big issues on today's podcast.

This is the podcast where we talk innovation.  Today's guest is working to influence educational technology in Washington state.  We delve in pretty deep to civic responsibility from the perspective of education as well as having girls in science, technology, engineering, and math.  Which reminds me of a quote I saw the other day on a t-shirt:

Some girls like to chase boys.  I just like to pass them!

Experience has taught me that girls in our inventor classes do NOT solve problems the same way that the boys do.  However, do NOT take that to mean girls solve problems in some inferior or superior way.  They just do it differently.

Unfortunately, because of the stigma, socialization, and other factors, only about 40% of the students in our teen inventor classes are female.  This asymmetry has been discussed and dissected in many articles and books, but the fact remains that if we want more girls in STEM subjects, we need parents, friends, and teachers to encourage every girl they know to explore their technology interests because there is some force in society or perhaps buried deep in our lizard brain from the past that pushes girls aside when they begin to excel in technology.

However it does not have to be that way.  Let me tell you a short story.  Amy, Elizabeth, and Charity--not their real names--were students in our inventing camp this summer.  Their job was to build an asteroid lander to safely deposit a probe to the surface.  These 5th and 6th grade girls built the fuzziest, cutest, most awesome probe.  It had a lamb and motors and microprocessors and conductance sensors and it was beautiful precision in motion.

In the same class, Maddie discovered computer programming and decided on the spot that she had to have programming in whatever job she chose because in her words, "Programming is so much fun!"  We believe that every girl should have the opportunity to find out if she likes technology and to receive all the encouragement she needs to succeed at it.  To find out more about getting your girls involved in technology, visit InventingZone.com to learn more.

Our guest today discovered in college that she loved computing and technology after getting politely pushed in other directions in high school.  Julia Fallon is working with Educational Technology and Teaching Excellence in Washington state.  She has a heart for helping students reach their full potential and for successful integration of technology into classrooms.  Let's find out more about Julia's story.

Original Release Date: 10/08/15

Category:| Innovative Educators |

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Show Notes | YouTube | iTunes

 

How do you keep a business running for 50 years?  How valuable is a good reputation?  What is the value of premium products in today's market?  Join us as we consider the value of quality on today's podcast.

This is the podcast where we talk innovation.  Today's guest innovates the old-fashioned way, and I think you are going to like Jim.  I don't normally start my introduction right off this way, but after speaking with Jim, it seemed appropriate.

Jim's dad started a small job shop 70 years ago, and Jim and his brother Bob turned that small machine shop into a stable business over the last 50 years.  They've weathered economic upturns, downturns, and major customer orders going south.  Their company is built around good old fashioned hard work and high quality.  Their products are well-known to outlast the competition by a long shot.

I got a funny feeling as I was interviewing Jim because his approach to quality and supplying a premium product felt very close to home.  If I could build a business to last 50 years around high quality and no compromise, I would be very proud.  As the founder of Table Top Inventing, I found myself taking careful notes!

Small businesses like McWelco are getting more rare these days, but great wisdom is sometimes stored in strange places.  Today, Jim McKinley tells us about how they survived 50 years and what he feels are the important values of a strong business and a successful life.

 

Original Release Date: 10/01/15

Category: Business Professionals

Direct download: 05520-20Creating20Excellence20with20Jim20McKinley.mp3
Category:Business Professionals -- posted at: 5:28am PST
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