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SPARKS:2001 V1/Q1

Going Global

by Bob Rines, President

America's best-kept secret has finally succumbed to the exposure of the new millennium's bulging Internet.

Quietly, over the years, catalyzing incentives to explore science and invention amongst our nation's students, assisting the entrepreneurial process among inventors and innovators, and creating a social and legal climate where sparks can once again ignite and sustain creativity, the tone of the Academy has heretofore, fortunately or unfortunately, reflected my personal creed not to seek publicity or other notoriety.

But even I have now been swept over by the explosive growth of our programs and staff, by our new associations with other institutions that do live on public exposure in a new national and global lifestyle, by our over 50 regional and national volunteer committees, and also by the wave of technologically driven networking that practically forbids that roseate dream of staying private.

So, networking, we are (and on a global scale), spreading our mission from the elementary and high schools of the nation and the European and Far Eastern reaches of the military sponsors of our junior science and research apprenticeship programs, and from our inventors' groups nationwide to the schools and institutions of the developing and underdeveloped nations of the world.

Through Academy-invented and patented software, our Global School District is poised to bring to the world inexpensive Internet-driven teaching with live interchange programs and courses between student and teacher. Our best teachers will interface with students in the smallest and most remote hamlets of the world.

This is no dream; it's a startling reality!

On December 11, 2000, at 9 p.m. (EDT), we executed our first real-time, audio, video, and chat Global School District joint class. On our end were staffs from the Academy and my MIT intellectual property class in Cambridge, Mass. Via the Internet we "met" with students and faculty at the University of Manila in the Philippines (9 a.m. their time) teachers presenting overviews, and students meeting, seeing, and talking to one another and discussing the different aspects of patents, copyrights, trademarks, piracy, and entrepreneurship.

The "quiet days" of the Academy are over and the most exciting challenges lie before us!

Copyright 2002 Academy of Applied Science