Skip to main content

Making the World a Better Place with STEM

Dec 14, 2016 11:00AM, Published by Kendra Kaiserman, Categories: Giving Back, Web Exclusives, Life+Leisure, Community Family Features Lifestyle, Family Features




During this time of year, many families are looking for ways to give back to their communities. Collecting donations for a food drive or donating warm clothes are great ways to serve the community, but giving back through innovation is another impactful way to help others. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education plays a significant role in giving innovators the skills they need to create tools that help solve some of the world’s largest problems.

Here are some STEM innovations that have helped make a difference in the lives of others around the world.

MadiDrop Tablets 
According to the United Nations, 783 million people do not have access to clean water. In order to help solve this problem, a group of scientists from the University of Virginia invented MadiDrop Tablets. One tablet can disinfect liters of water for up to six months using silver ions that remove toxic pathogens from the water.

Project Loon
The United Nations Broadband Commission’s report stated that a total of 4.2 billion people do not have regular access to the internet, which can impede economic growth and development. To help solve this problem, Google launched Project Loon, which has developed a number of balloons that provide a wireless 3G network to rural areas around the world.

ShareTheMeal App  
In order to help the fight against global hunger, the World Food Programme developed the ShareTheMeal app. With a click of a button and a 50 cent donation, users can provide a hungry child with an entire day’s worth of food.  

Solar Ovens 
Cooking in developing nations requires not only a great deal of labor, but also exposes people to large amounts of harmful smoke. More than 4 million people per year die prematurely from illnesses attributed to air pollution caused by cooking with solid fuels, according to the World Health Organization. Solar ovens concentrate the sun’s rays to produce power for cooking, saving large amounts of energy because no fuel or firewood is required. With no open flame, solar ovens drastically reduce exposure to deadly smoke, and in turn, the diseases caused by smoke exposure. 

This giving season, encourage your children to think like scientists to help save the world. One way to get started is to talk to your child’s teacher(s) about entering a science competition, such as the 25th Annual Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision program, the only STEM-related competition of its kind that allows kids to create ideas for new technological innovations in response to real-world issues. Past projects include a removable prosthetic retina to help those with poor vision and amphipathic films, a water collection method that provides people around the world with access to potable water. To learn more about past projects, and for more information about how to enter this year’s competition, visit exploravision.org.

Sponsored by Toshiba



Family Features Family Features Lifestyle STEM


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    05/01/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Central Valley CWA meeting

    05/01/2017
    06:00PM

    California Women for Agriculture's (CWA) Central Valley Chapter will hold its next meeting on Mon...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    05/01/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    05/02/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    05/02/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • ARTS VISALIA May Exhibition

    05/04/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Arts Visalia presents an exhibition of "giganteum" proportions. The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron...


  • Arts Visalia Art Classes for Children and Adults

    05/04/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Register now for new 4-week courses beginning in May: Adventures in Drawing for 5 & 6 year olds ...


  • 2017 Art Hop

    05/04/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    ArtHop occurs every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. It’s one of the most active and successfu...


  • The Fresno High Flea: Hello May

    05/06/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Celebrate the End of our SUCCESSFUL 4th SEASON As always, Family friendly and Free to attend. ...


  • Mother Day, Ladies Luncheon

    05/06/2017
    11:30AM — 01:30PM

    Our annual Mothers Day Luncheon is open to all Women and young ladies (ages 9 and up). Open to al...


  • Premier Kentucky Derby Party

    05/06/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    Riata Ranch International is celebrating 60 years of their unique brand of empowerment! The Bo...


  • ARTS VISALIA Family Art Day

    05/06/2017
    12:00PM — 02:00PM

    Family Art Day is fun for the whole family. Discover the joy of artistic expression. Check out ...


  • ARTS VISALIA May Exhibition

    05/06/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Arts Visalia presents an exhibition of "giganteum" proportions. The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron...


  • Arts Visalia Art Classes for Children and Adults

    05/06/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Register now for new 4-week courses beginning in May: Adventures in Drawing for 5 & 6 year olds ...


  • ARTS VISALIA Annual Orchid Sale

    05/06/2017
    12:00PM — 05:30PM

    Beginning May 6th, over 800 beautiful and colorful orchids will fill the gallery for our annual f...


  • Kentucky Derby Party

    05/06/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    The Kentucky Derby is more than just a horse race, it's the event of the year! View the Kentucky ...


  • Pure Imagination

    05/06/2017
    02:00PM

    Enjoy an evening of ‘Pure Imagination’ at Visalia’s LJ Williams Theater. VCIS brings skilled l...


  • Since their debut in 2001, GRAMMY®-nominated, multiple American Music Award and Dove Award winner...


Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: Northern California Living