A little girl sits on her Grandpa’s knee holding an iPhone in her hands. He watches in awe as her little fingers navigate from the home screen to her favorite game and she begins to play.
To most of us Angry Birds is just a game, but to Physicist David Neumann it’s a lesson in the science that he’s studied for most of his life. As he sat watching his two and a half year old granddaughter launch birds across the screen he realized that she was learning about the study of matter and its motion through space. The game broke down concepts like energy, force, mass and trajectory into basic principles that her young mind was able to understand and use.
… big birds are heavier so you have to pull the sling shot back far, and shoot them way up in the air to hit the blocks and knock over the pigs…
…small birds are lighter so if you pull the sling shot back too far and shoot them way up in the air like the heavy ones, then they just fly over everything and you don’t knock down any pigs…
It was a revelation to the scientist and CEO of Neumann Systems Group in Colorado Springs. If one game could teach a little girl physics in its most basic form, then what would happen if you were able to put technology like this into classrooms? What would happen if all of our bright minds of tomorrow had access to the best technology that we have to offer today?
The answer seems simple…. You’d put the entire world at their fingertips.
This encounter stayed with Dave and his scientific mind latched onto it creating questions, researching the effects of specific technologies being introduced into classrooms and forming a hypothesis of his own that involved providing iPads and SmartBoards as an enhancement to Elementary Education in the classroom.
As an experiment a $30,000 donation was made from Neumann Systems Group to a local elementary school. This donation was used to provide the entire 1st grade and the 1st grade teachers with iPads, SmartBoards and to build the supporting infrastructure to effectively use them. The donation also included training for the teachers, who were excited to implement the new technology into their classrooms.
The iPads were integrated into the curriculum and rolled out shortly after the students returned from Winter Break. After the initial learning curve, the results were astounding.
With the results of his experiment pointing so clearly toward proving his hypothesis, Dave began to think BIGGER. How do we implement this type of technology, not just at one grade level at one school, but throughout El Paso County? How would having access to this type of technology at such a critical young age change the future of Colorado Springs as these children grow into adults and take leadership positions within our community?
With the creation of the Neumann Education Foundation (NEF), Dave hopes that some of those questions will be answered. He hopes that providing this type of technology will not only teach children, but that it will also help keep them engaged and interested while their young minds are still learning how to love learning.
And hopefully the conclusion to this experiment that started with a little girl and an iPhone will benefit not just her, but her entire generation and generations to come as they learn to unlock the unlimited potential inside of them.
If you would like to make a donation to Neumann Education Foundation, please visit our donation page.
Provide iPads, SMARTBoards & grade-appropriate application software to every elementary school classroom and every elementary age child and teacher in El Paso Count within 3 years.
Fund instructional programs, teacher training, and technology upgrades via contributions and grants.
Continue working with established teacher networks, the local STEM education community, selected local principals, teachers and the USAFA Dept of Education to build support and participation.
Work in partnership with the Colorado Springs business and education community to make El Paso County a world class model for utilizing technology in the classroom.