Technology | St. Louis Public Radio

Technology

St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis Science Center

Like most kids, Diamond Williams toyed with several potential careers. Cosmetology had potential. So did following in the footsteps of her father, a dialysis technician, but her squeamishness cut short those dreams. Instead, Williams is now an engineer, a career path she discovered through a St. Louis Science Center youth program.

Youth Exploring Science works with St. Louis teens to create projects centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Ferguson activist Ebony Williams (left) has been a regular at area protests calling for police reform. She says she wants to learn coding and other tech skills to bring them back to the community. Danie Banks (right) of Thoughtworks is her mentor for the
Camille Phillips | St.Louis Public Radio

For the next six weeks, 10 young people, many with ties to Ferguson demonstrations, will spend three days a week learning web coding, business technology and how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

Activist group Hands Up United organized the program through the help of Abby Bobé with the IT consulting firm ThoughtWorks. Other ThoughtWorks employees also are involved.

Bobé said the goal of the six-week workshop is to give more people of color in the St. Louis area an opportunity to learn about technology.

Washington University's Lihong Wang led the research team that invented a camera that can take up to 100 billion frames per second. Their work made the cover of the Dec. 4, 2014, issue of the journal Nature, where this image appeared.
Lihong Wang | Washington University

What if we could design a camera that could take a hundred billion pictures in a second ― enough to record the fastest phenomena in the universe.

Sounds like science fiction, right?

But it’s not: a new ultrafast imaging system developed at Washington University can do just that.

St. Louis Employers Seeking STEM Talent

Oct 8, 2014

Last month’s State of St. Louis Workforce report examined St. Louis’ economy and labor market, and the local demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent.

Provided by The Public Radio

Last week NPR’s All Tech Considered featured The Public Radio, a small single-station radio that lives in a Mason jar.  At the time the project’s Kickstarter campaign had yet to reach its goal of $25,000. To-date the project raised more than $65,000, and the developers have 20 days to go before their campaign expires.

Flickr user omervk

A recent Brookings Institution report looks at millions of job openings across the country to see how hard it is to fill science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions in a hundred metro areas. The answer: hard.

Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

It will be a whirlwind weekend for the finalists of the Arch Grants competition.

The 46 finalist startups arrived in St. Louis on Thursday afternoon. They are here competing for 20 grants worth $50,000 each.

In a way, St. Louis itself also is competing this weekend. The entrepreneurs who win must agree to move their businesses here.

(Flickr/Moyan Brenn)

By the time this post is published, people across St. Louis are reveling from having watched the first Cardinals’ home game of the season and are gearing up for a fabulous season.

I’m hoping that is the case because this week's rundown on economy and innovation isn’t all sunshine and flowers. Actually there could be flowers, but you’ll have to wait to read about that.

First, let’s talk entrepreneurship. 

derekGavey | Flickr

A report released today is touting the emergence of St. Louis as tech startup hot-spot.

ITEN, a non-profit that provides programs, events and access to resources for area startups produced the report. It collected data from more than 350 area startups and evaluated the health of the industry by looking at a variety of measures, including the amount of funds raised, current monthly revenue and the number of employees. 

Optimistic Outlook:

Friday is the deadline for U.S.-China trade talks. If they fail and China's 25-percent tariff on soybeans goes into effect, Missouri farmers will feel the impact.
jasonippolito | Flickr

Is there any aspect of life that technology hasn’t touched?

While I’m sure people can cite examples in the non-digital sphere, agriculture is not one of them. It hasn’t been for some time – farmers are adept at using all kinds of technology to monitor weather, pricing, soil content. But a new development is taking the idea to a new level. And St. Louis's own Monsanto seems to be leading the way.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

The technology available to a police officer on the beat has come a long way from a pen and a notebook.

Thanks to in-car computers, police now have the internet and sophisticated databases at their fingertips. Cameras can find a specific license plate or reduce the need for eyewitnesses.

But the speed at which the changes are taking place has even those using the technology concerned.

As a narcotics officer in Jefferson County in the mid-1990s, Jeff Roorda was a rock star when he got a bag phone

"When smaller cities play to their strengths while simultaneously working to shore up their deficiencies, they can attract talented entrepreneurs and help them succeed." That's what Chuck Cohn, native St. Louisan and CEO of Varsity Tours says in an article on Forbes.com. Cohn says St. Louis can serve as a model for other cities like it to develop tech hubs.

Updated 6/13 4:56 with news of entrepreneur fund.

Business leaders and St. Louis City and County officials met today (Thursday) to announce a new effort to support entrepreneurs in the area.

The goal is to raise $100 million over the next five years.

The announcement comes on the tail of a recent report that found last year was a record-breaking year for St. Louis tech startups, which brought in $30 million dollars in investments.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said the $100 million goal is bold, but doable.

HOK

One of the country’s largest startup incubators will soon be moving into the Cortex bioscience district in St. Louis.

The move marks Cambridge Innovation Center’s first expansion out of the Boston area, where it houses more than 500 small to mid-sized companies.

CIC’s president and CEO, Ranch Kimball, says he expects the new St. Louis facility to attract mostly technology startups, but says CIC will be open to a variety of businesses.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When his slide clicker malfunctioned up on stage, Brian Kohlberg kept his cool. Afterward, he was philosophical.

“It was just one of those things I can’t control so I had to keep moving on and show the resilience of our company,” chuckled Kohlberg, founder of Manufacturers' Inventory, an online marketplace for industrial and electrical components. “We’re going to hit some bumps in the road….we’ll still make it through.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The executive director of Saint Louis University’s new state-of-the-art Center for Workforce and Organizational Development understands that the world of information technology stands still for no one. 

So even as she’s hosting an open house at her new training facility Thursday afternoon, Katherine Cain is already talking about the agility of the curriculum and how it will be evolving in the months ahead.

CNN Money has released a list of the top 5 cities it considers to be the main up-and-comers on the IT jobs scene. New York City still "leads the pack" in tech jobs, followed by the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore area - but the top 5 "growing" cities are St. Louis, Charlotte, Austin, Phoenix and Detroit. CNN Money says the tech job market in St. Louis has jumped 25 percent in the last year with a median salary of about $81,000.

A little legal kerfuffle is brewing in the Land of Lincoln with mobile payment company Square. If you didn't know, Square has St. Louis ties - it was created by area natives Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. Learn more from our friends at TechCrunch via the link.

Local congregations take worship to the web

Apr 25, 2012
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

The internet pervades almost every aspect of modern life and religion is no exception. From Facebook and Twitter, to live streaming services and online donations, churches across the country are redefining what it means to worship.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy takes a look at how some local congregations are embracing the net to expand their missions online.

Including the "dot com"

During a livestreaming service on Easter Sunday, Pastor David Crank recalled the story of Jesus and the Adulteress -- adding one unusual detail:

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Forty-three teams of teens from Missouri and four surrounding states be competing in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition regional this weekend at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

(You can see a full feature on last year's FIRST competition here, too).

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