Futures with Jaime Escalante – Module 5: Communications


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FUTURES with Jaime Escalante (grades 9-12)
FUTURES was designed to motivate interest in mathematics by showing students that math is the language of the future–and a passport to creative and rewarding jobs in fields ranging from fashion and skateboard design to architecture and space exploration.

Module 5 contains:
Personal Communication
Mass Communication
Sound Engineering


FUTURES was designed to motivate interest in mathematics by showing students that math is the language of the future–and a passport to creative and rewarding jobs in fields ranging from fashion and skateboard design to architecture and space exploration.

Each FUTURES episode combines scenes from Escalante’s classroom, on-site interviews with professionals and appearances by celebrities like Arnold Schwartzennegger, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Cameron, Cindy Crawford, Jimmy Smits and Jackie Joyner Kersee. FUTURES has received more than fifty awards, including the highest honor in the field of broadcasting, The George Foster Peabody Award.

Watch a preview of FUTURES with Jaime Escalante

FUTURES Communications Episodes:
Personal Communication – Fiber optics, digital transmission, two-way video conferencing, wireless communication via satellite-much of the technology developed for the space program is being used on Earth. At Motorola, engineers describe the Iridium communication satellites. At Berkeley Systems, Inc., Marc Sutton develops a talking computer program for the sight-impaired. Also featured: physicist Kent Cullers at NASA/Ames Research Center; spacecraft engineer Bridget Macika of Hughes Aircraft Company; and more. Classroom guest: Astronaut Ellen Ochoa.

Mass Communication – Taking an idea, packaging it with sound and pictures and then transmitting it to millions of people at a time-that’s mass communication. Meet broadcast engineers Kelly Williams of the National Association of Broadcasters, Howard Miller of PBS, radio producer Peggy Berryhill, disc jockey Dave Montoya, radio production engineer Anthony Sanchez, broadcast technician Tammi Martin, and sports producer/director Susan Stratton. Classroom guest: Ted Koppel.

Optics – Scanning the night sky for new constellations or capturing a moment of life in a photograph, mankind seeks to expand its vision through the use of lenses and light. Viewers get a look at careers at places like AT&T Bell Labs, where fiber optic cables are used for high-speed communication, and Pacific Bell, where technicians demonstrate a two-way video conference call. Also featured are astronomers at the Multiple Mirror Telescope in Arizona; developers of advanced film concepts at Eastman Kodak Company; commercial photographer J.P. Morgan; and artists at Lasermedia. Classroom guest: photographer Mary Ellen Mark.

Sound Engineering – At a rock concert, Billy Joel is at the piano, but what comes out of the speakers is controlled by sound engineer Brian Ruggles. Saxophonist Clarence Clemons plays at the Hollywood Bowl, as acoustical engineer Elizabeth Cohen demonstrates equipment to test the sound quality. The sound adventure also includes Dr. Amar Bose’s explanation of the inner workings of his amazing Acoustic Wave music system, and a behind-the-scenes demonstration of sound effects created by sound editor Steve Flick. Classroom guest: Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer.

Each episode can be purchased separately for $24.95

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This stuff makes lessons exciting so they are not just about numbers or just about manipulation, they’re in context. And it doesn’t take a lot of context to get kids excited about doing the other stuff. This makes them want to do it! HIGH SCHOOL MATH TEACHER

A. H. Math Resource Teacher

The response to Teacher Talk was very enthusiastic. Our teachers checked out all of the copies within twenty-four hours after the viewing!

The Teacher Talk materials also gave us some great ideas for teaching in teams of four: language arts, social studies, science and math teachers. After seeing the lesson our science teachers said, that’s the way to pull the language arts into our study plans.

A. H., Math Resource Teacher, N. Hollywood, CA


You have done a grand job in making the vital connections between school and work, of exploration of real-world uses of math and science, of illustrating relationships between math and daily life, and of making the future real!

We found lots of ideas in the tapes that we use in our classrooms. Every lesson is like an adventure! And cost-wise, these exercises were extremely effective and fit very well into our district standards. The teachers thought that anybody could do these exercises. This is very important.
In Teacher Talk, there are perfect examples of activities that are both fun and relevant. These activities lend themselves to interdisciplinary use, merging literature, science and mathematics.

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