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IMS STEM Fun Facts!

  • logo image     Question: Can you still be an engineer if you are not good at math?

    Answer: Yes – math ability is important and helpful but should be considered a bonus, not an unattainable necessity. A good engineer is creative, analytical, practical and driven. Engineering is not about being 'good at math' – it is about having a passion for understanding how things work and interact--so bust a move and you'll get into the groove!

    STEM Fun Fact 1

    The average human brain has about 86 billion neurons. These neurons are connected by trillions of synapses, forming an incredibly complex network that allows us to think, learn, and experience the world around us.

    STEM Fun Fact 2

    The Earth's core is almost as hot as the surface of the sun, with temperatures reaching up to 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,000 degrees Celsius). This extreme heat is generated by the radioactive decay of elements within the core, which represents the Weak Force.  Our Universe has 4 forces: Strong, Weak, Electromagnetic & Gravity.

    STEM Fun Fact 3

    Did you know that the first computer virus was created in 1983 by Fred Cohen? He developed the virus, known as "brain," as an experiment to demonstrate the potential risks of self-replicating programs.

    STEM Fun Fact 4

    The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the world in their lifetime! This fascinating fact highlights the incredible distance we cover just by walking every day.

    STEM Fun Fact 5

    Honey never spoils! Archaeologists have found pots of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3,000 years old and still perfectly edible. This is due to its unique chemical composition, low moisture content, and acidic pH, which create an inhospitable environment for bacteria and microorganisms.

    STEM Fun Fact 6

    A bolt of lightning is approximately five times hotter than the surface of the sun, reaching temperatures of about 30,000 kelvin (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). This incredible heat is what causes the rapid expansion of air, leading to the characteristic thunderclap associated with lightning strikes.

    STEM Fun Fact 7

    How the heck did the Cosmic Crisp Apple get it's STEM friendly name? The “Cosmic” factor of the name was developed because of the “striking” lenticels on the apple's surface; they reminded the tasters of outer space and the cosmos, and it has a futuristic characteristic as it's resistant to disease and has a long shelf life.

    STEM Fun Fact 8

    Do you know where the term robot first appeared? It was in 1920, in Prague, that history’s first ever “robots” appeared, scribbled in longhand in the pages of R.U.R., a play written that year by the brilliant Czech writer Karel Čapek. The initials are explained in the subtitle: Rossum’s Universal Robots, the name of the company at the center of the drama, a business devoted to making artificial people. 

    STEM Fun Fact 9

    Did you know that the first computer programmer was a woman? Ada Lovelace, an English mathematician, is credited as the world's first computer programmer. She created an algorithm for Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine, which was an analog computer.

    STEM Fun Fact 10

    Grace Hopper was one of the pioneers of computer science.  Computer science branched off from mathematics in 1968 at the university level.  The Hour of Code is in December to honor Rear Admiral Hopper's birthday.

    STEM Fun Fact 11

    Mosaic was the first Internet Browser developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign beginning in late 1992 

    STEM Fun Fact 12

    The Moon continues to spiral away from the Earth at one and a half inches per year!

    STEM Fun Fact 13

    The first video game, "Tennis for Two," was created in 1958 by physicist William Higinbotham and was played on an oscilloscope.

    STEM Fun Fact 14

    The first programmable computer was invented in 1936 by Konrad Zuse in Germany.

    STEM Fun Fact 15

    A day on Venus (its rotation period) is longer than a year on Venus (its orbital period).

    STEM Fun Fact 16

    The first 1 GB hard disk drive was announced in 1980 and weighed about 550 pounds.

    STEM Fun Fact 17

    In 1953, Crick and Watson came up with the first accurate double helix model of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid).

    STEM Fun Fact 18

    Life began on Earth around three and three quarters billion years ago, but multicellular life has only been around about half a billion years!  Shazam! 

    STEM Fun Fact 19

    Did you know that the first computer virus was created in 1971 by Bob Thomas and was called the "Creeper" virus? It was designed to infect DEC PDP-10 computers running the TENEX operating system. This marked the beginning of cybersecurity as we know it today! 

    STEM Fun Fact 20

    Did you know that the heart shape, commonly associated with Valentine's Day, is actually mathematically impossible in nature? The traditional heart shape is known as a "perfect shape" in mathematics, but it cannot be found in the natural world. It's a great example of how mathematics and nature intersect in interesting ways!

    STEM Fun Fact 21

    Did you know that a single strand of spaghetti is easy to break, but if you twist it into a loop and then try to break it, it will often break into three or more pieces? This phenomenon, known as the "spaghetti paradox," is a fascinating example of how simple changes in structure can lead to surprising changes in behavior.

    STEM Fun Fact 22

    Did you know that the human brain is capable of generating approximately 23 watts of power when awake? This energy is produced by the millions of neurons firing in the brain at any given moment. While it's not enough to power a light bulb, it's still an impressive display of the brain's electrical activity.

    STEM Fun Fact 23

    The earth’s circumference is approximately 25,000 miles, with a mass of 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons and a surface area of around 200,000,000 square miles.

    STEM Fun Fact 24

    Every year, the United States discards 220 million tons of outdated computers and other electronic equipment.

    STEM Fun Fact 25

    According to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho, the bacteria residing within you could fill a half-gallon container, since there are ten times more bacterial cells in the body than overall human cells.

    STEM Fun Fact 26

    Thomas Edison holds the record for receiving the most US patents, amounting to 1,093 in all.

    STEM Fun Fact 27

    STEM education really began to gain attention after a troubling 2005 report from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine titled Rising Above the Gathering Storm emphasized the importance of STEM education to make the US economy more competitive globally. This report also coincided with historically low scores in math and science testing when compared to other advanced countries.

    STEM Fun Fact 28

    Nowadays, one may see the acronym “STEAM” also used - this acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. Advocates for STEAM education claim that incorporating art into a STEM curriculum promotes a more well-rounded education.  Artistic skills are needed in engineering and architecture as well.

    STEM Fun Fact 29

    “Science” covers a broad range of subjects, not just mad science chemistry experiments! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, some interesting STEM job titles that fall under its “Life, Physical, and Social Science” jobs include astronomers, food scientists, forensic technicians (aka: detectives), and zoologists! (note that social sciences are not traditionally considered “STEM”)

    STEM Fun Fact 30

    Language first evolved during the time of modern Homo sapiens, 50,000–150,000 years ago, and since then, over 7000 different spoken languages have been established.

    STEM Fun Fact 31

    Of all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, three quarters are red dwarfs, which are the smallest type of regular star.

    STEM Fun Fact 32

    IMS is now a STEM designated school per the Nevada Office of the Governor!