Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab

Coming to Comcast and select PBS stations in September 2015

Picture an unusual group of techno-savvy tweens who discover a hidden secret lab, built and stocked by none other than Thomas Edison at his former lab site in West Orange, NJ. Imagine what these young talented minds could do with the resources of such a lab, and with help from their mentor, Thomas Edison.

Genius Brands International, a children’s entertainment company dedicated to creating “content with a purpose” for kids, created this new Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab adventure comedy series in association with The Edison Innovation Foundation.

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab

It’s all about showing kids how fun science can be as Edison’s hologram encourages them to push the boundaries of conventional science and technology, and to solve real problems. [Sounds like today’s new school educational paradigm called STEM!] The series has been reviewed by a nationally recognized academic team to ensure episode content meets educational and information standards.

Get ready to enjoy colorful animated characters, gizmos, gadgets, and hijinks. The series begins airing in September on Comcast, and select PBS stations – check local listings.

Somebody mention Von Bolt? He’s the wacky, anthropomorphic robot-a somewhat nervous fellow who is an essential part of each episode. Von Bolt “watches the back” of Angie, 12-year old scientific prodigy, modern-day Edison, and team leader. She is accompanied by JD-resourceful geek; Nicky-scientific genius; Kent-marketing maven; Chang-computer wizard; and of course, the holographic image of Edison for the kids to interact with. Speaking of the cast, feast your eyes below and see them all set to “edu-tain” you.

Follow the series, and get the pre-tweens engaged. It’s never too early to start learning about Thomas Edison and his amazing ability to innovate! Keep up with Thomas Edison information at:

Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab

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Edison Smiles Over Progress of Solar Energy

If you cruise the Internet and check out solar companies, chances are high you will find Edison’s famous 1910 quote:

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, 17,500+ MW of cumulative solar electric capacity is now operating in the U.S., enough to power more than 3.5 million average American homes. This includes power generated from the three types of solar-electric systems: photovoltaic panel systems on the roofs of homes, businesses, schools … etc; large scale utility-size systems; and, solar thermal power generation systems [power towers].

(Pictured Left) Residential roof system being installed. (Pictured Right) School size system.

(Pictured Left) Residential roof system being installed. (Pictured Right) School size system.

Consider these additional important facts as well:

  • The U.S. solar industry employs over 160,000 workers.
  • 36% of all new electric generating capacity in 2014 was from solar systems.
  • Since 2004, the installed price of solar system capacity dropped from $8.50 per watt to about $3.80.
  • The over 1100 national commercial solar system installations displaced over 549,246 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The top three states with cumulative solar electric capacity are California, Arizona, and New Jersey.
  • US solar energy capacity grew an astounding 418% from 2010-2014.
(Pictured Left) Utility size system could cover square miles. (Pictured Right) Hundreds of thousands of mirrors concentrate sunlight to make electricity ... square miles of land needed.

(Pictured Left) Utility size system could cover square miles. (Pictured Right) Hundreds of thousands of mirrors concentrate sunlight to make electricity … square miles of land needed.

Solar electricity now contributes just a small fraction of our nation’s current electricity needs, but it is becoming a highly desirable and super-clean form of electric generation. If Edison were alive today, he would certainly be competing in the marketplace with new solar application ideas. Remember, it was Edison who gave us the modern electric utility system in the first place … and he was always improving his inventions, making room for new technologies. He would certainly make room for solar!

Editor Deep Dive

Try this … calculate how much solar energy could save when installed on your home at: pvwatts.nrel.gov/pvwatts.php

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves …”

Time® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

Results of the Big Contest for the Best Invention: The Light Bulb, the Airplane or the Theory of Relativity?

We were pleased with the over 150 national entries we received; and the variety of thoughts on the question. The great bulk of the submissions favored the light bulb; with about 5-10% for the airplane and but a few for the theory of relativity. It is after all what our readers thought.

The winners and prizes awarded are:

  • First Place $100 Noah Kurzenhauser

  • Second Place $50 Jonathan Leach

  • Third Place $25 Randy Ohman

In addition, we decided to award two honorable mention prizes as well:

  • Honorable Mention $15 Valeria Pasuizacca

  • Honorable Mention $15 Brandon Nguyen

One particular entry prompted our judges to issue a special award for creativity:

  • Special Award $75 David Nassar

David’s entry was an ingenious poem which we have reproduced below-

The airplane, the light bulb or relativity
Which is the greatest mark of ingenuity?
First consider the airplane- two brothers so Wright
They invented a vehicle capable of flight
People called them dreamers, and dreamers they were
In Kitty Hawk, they flew in the air like the birds
Next consider relativity- an Einstein to find
That distance and space is related to time
Twin paradoxes, bending space, and even GPS
Relativity explained; mysteries put to rest
Finally, the lightbulb, a bright idea clearly!
I contest it is greater than planes or relativity theory
Relativity claims nothing is faster than light
And without the lightbulb, there’d be no such insight
Einstein’s theory relied on an experiment of his mind
“What if two lights were turned on, what’s the answer he’d find?”
Now when considering the classic question, ” ‘light’ or flight?”
Consider where the airplane would be in the night
Airport runways and red-eyes could never be handled
By rows upon rows of wax-based candles
So of the three inventions one is greater than two
And for this Thomas Edison, we are grateful to you.

Thanks to all who participated! Be on the look-out for upcoming contests.

Thomas Edison on Time MagazineThomas Edison said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.”

Time® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.

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