Thursday, October 22, 2009
President Barack Obama and President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Executive Office of the President
725 17th Street
Washington, DC 20502
October 20, 2009
RE: PCAST STEM Meeting 10.22-23, 2009, Two Minute Public Comment Letter
Dear Mr. President and distinguished members of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, On October 16, 2009, Jim Brazell was in the Denver airport where he purchased the latest Business Week. The title read "The Lost Generation: The job crisis is hitting young people especially hard--imperiling their future and the economy-by Peter Coy." As he put the magazine on the counter to pay for it, the young male cashier said, "That's the truth." After a brief conversation with him, Jim mentioned career and technical education and the cashier responded, "I wish I had done that." To which Jim replied, "It's not too late, community and technical colleges and universities both have programs aligned to good jobs in tough times-and the future."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds is the highest among US age groups. Unemployment among this cohort has steadily increased from 2007 to the present. Thus, the United States is in need of strategies to increase US economic cooperation, competitiveness and innovation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We are also in need of STEM-based strategies to transform the whole of the P-20 education system and outcomes for the youth and young adults who will create the future.
Today, a well rounded high school student is ready for life, career and the rigor of the P-20 system of education. The irony of our time in history is that TECH PREP and Career Pathways, modern vocational education, provide this well rounded student and simultaneously increases K-12 performance, retention, recruiting, graduation, and matriculation to deliver a P-20 educational pipeline. TECH PREP is the modern equivalent of academic preparation (AP) plus it has the added bonuses of expanding equity for diverse student populations and closing the gaps among K-12, community and technical college, and university pathways.
Similar to President Obama, after the launch of Sputnik, President Eisenhower, in the late 1950's, faced rising global tensions, a critical time window and very low tolerance for failure. Eisenhower discovered the M.I.T. Physical Sciences Study Committee (PSSC) who had created and proven new curricula for science and physics on a small scale. The PSSC curricula allowed the U.S. to disseminate and scale up education reform-answering the call for innovation while managing risk for failure through cooperation of the nation's K-12, community and technical college and university system. We submit to you today that TECH PREP in its founding origin--full college-bound academic load, plus Career and Technical Education courses, plus college courses-is the P-12 modern equivalent of PSSC and a demonstrated solution to your STEM goals and to global educational transformation. TECH PREP is supported by, but differentiated from, the modern career pathways movement and the traditions of career and technical education (CTE) as the AP equivalent. TECH PREP students attend school, graduate, and matriculate to college and university across the nation at higher rates than general academic or general CTE students-and they pass the standardized tests! In April, when President Obama appointed PSSC members he said, "At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best as we can ascertain it." We know as academicians the idea of work-based training strikes you as less rigorous than academic preparation; however, we submit that emerging science says TECH PREP works and connecting hands and heads-mind and body-is the way ahead to the Next Great American Century.
With hope for the future,
Jim Brazell, Consultant, Innovation Creativity and Capital Institute (IC2), University of Texas and the Schriever Institute, San Antonio, Texas
With support, contributions and editing from: Dr. Francis X. Kane (USAF, Lt. Col. ret.), President, The Schriever Institute; Patricia G. (Pat) Bubb, Executive Director, Tech Prep of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc.; Dr. Debra Amidon, Senior Research Fellow, IC2 Institute & Founder Entovation, Ltd.; Dr. David Thornburg, Founder, Thornburg Center for Professional Development; and, Dr. Murat Tanik, Stan and Bonnie Gatchel and the Systems Design and Process Science (SDPS) community.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Gemini School celebrated Graduation 2009 last Thursday with a special ceremony and brunch honoring Lauren Lamoreux and Shawn Melchor. Family, friends, faculty and staff gathered to say goodbye and wish our graduates well as they start their careers as commercial artists.
Roger Barcilon, Founder of Gemini School, spoke about each graduate:
"Lauren, I remember the first time you visited Gemini School. You were with your sister Erin—who if you don’t know, is also a Gemini School graduate--and your family. You’d look at the work on the walls with big wide eyes and say “ I just hope I can do that one day”. Well, my dear, you’ve worked so hard over the past four years and now you can say that not only can you do what those artists on the wall did…but you can do more. We are so proud of your achievements here and your progress as a concept art intern at the studio we can't name. With your work ethic, talent and training, you have a long and successful career ahead of you—and we’re excited to see what the future holds.
Shawn, you have a talent and maturity rare for someone so young. It has been a pleasure to have you here for the past four years. For everyone in the audience, Shawn attended Gemini School on a four year scholarship by winning our “Follow the Masters” Scholarship Competition. It’s a little scary awarding a full, four year scholarship, because honestly, you just don’t know if it’s going to work out. But, Shawn, we have only been thrilled to have you here. To see you grow as an artist, student and man and be a part of your life has been a privilege. You have unlimited career possibilities. Whether you stay at Disney or move on, we couldn’t be prouder of you and cannot wait to see what the future brings.
Finally, a word to you both…You are capable of achieving great things if you stay focused and believe in your talents and your desire to succeed. On behalf of everyone at Gemini School, It has been a pleasure and privilege to have been a part of your lives. Congratulations to you both."
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
David and Joel then entertained the crowd with their thoughts on creativity, working as artists and the studio's latest venture-Exodyssey. The weather was perfect for tex-mex, beer and margaritas in the courtyard...and a great time was had by all. Special thanks to our student volunteers Shamrae, Emily, Justin and Anna! And congratulations to student's David Hassell and Justin Kaufmann for their fine interview skills on the 6 o'clock news!
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Steambot Studios Lands in Austin
Digital Art Veterans from Videogame, Film and Feature Animation Lead New Austin Shop
June 4, 2009 -Steambot Studios (Montreal, CAN) announced the formation of Steambot Studios Austin today. “We chose Austin not only because we love the city, but because we feel that there is an unique combination of talent and educational resources here that will allow our studio to attract top talent and continue to grow our business with clients like Electronic Arts, UbiSoft and Disney” said David Levy, Steambot Studios CEO & Founder. “As a studio, we’re also committed to sharing our knowledge with future artists. In Austin, we have a rare opportunity to work with Roger Barcilon and the Gemini School of Visual Arts to train the entertainment artists of the future. It’s a win-win for us and the industry.”
Manny Carrasco, whose feature animation credits include Space Jam, Anastasia and Prince of Egypt will lead the Austin studio as Managing Partner. A 16 -year veteran of the videogame and feature animation industries, Carrasco’s career includes working with studios including Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Fox and Richard Rich. “Our entire team is excited to be working with the Steambot Studios founders (CEO David Levy, R&D Director Thierry Doizon, Visual Director Joel Dos Reis Viegas and Creative Director Sebastien Larroude ). They are incredible artists and innovators. We’re ready to deliver the same world class visual content to our clients in Austin.” The Austin studio will specialize in high end digital art creation including conceptual design, matte painting, illustration, and 3D asset development for clients worldwide in the film, videogame, animation and advertising industries.
About Steambot Studios
Steambot Studios (Montreal, CAN and Austin, TX) is a next-gen visual development studio creating world class visual content for international clients in the feature film, videogame, advertising, broadcast , graphic novel and publishing industries. Steambot artists count Electronic Arts, Disney, UbiSoft, Dreamworks and BlueSky as clients and have contributed visual content for high profile entertainment properties including James Cameron’s Avatar, Assassins Creed, TRON 2.0, Thief 4 and Prince of Persia. The studio recently launched their first original intellectual property - Exodyssey: Visual Development of an Epic Adventure which is now available in major bookstores. For more information, visit www.steambotstudios.com and www.exodyssey.com .
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Steambot Studios presents its first original visual “art of” book, Exodyssey. A new alien race has been discovered that adorns themselves like humans celebrating Halloween. A group of unlikely heroes from Earth, consisting of prisoners, pilots and scientists, must travel light years away to confront this new race that they feel threatened by. Steambot Studios takes us on a fantastic visual journey to tell this science fiction tale.
Steambot Studios, a collective of six digital artists working in the world of entertainment - Sebastien Larroude, Thierry Doizon, Joel Dos Reis Viegas, David Levy, Nicolas Ferrand and Patrick Desgreniers, takes us aboard an epic science fiction ride in Exodyssey. Created in parallel with a series of art education DVDs and lectures, the group demonstrates their creative production art techniques developed through many years of experience in the field working for such companies as Electronic Arts, Activision, Ubisoft, Epic, Digital Dimension, Canal+.. Follow the Steambot crew through an original but also realistic point of view on futuristic civilizations, space transportation and society as they visually develop the characters, vehicles, environments and props needed to tell the tale. Various educational lectures and tools are thoroughly documented in this visually stunning book.
The book will be available for purchase, but quantities are limited. Come meet the artists, get your copy of the book and say "hi"!
Saturday, June 6th
3309 Esperanza Crossing
Austin, TX 78758
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
There was a book signing, live painting, DJ's, wine and food. They had a fantastic turn out. We all had a blast and it was great to see David, Thierry, Joel, Sebastien & Nicolas. Their book is beautiful. You can purchase it online from Design Studio Press. http://www.designstudiopress.com/
Steambot will be coming to do a demonstration for our students and to attend Gemini's Industry Day June 4th. If you are an industry professional email us for an invitation.