Tommy Ly

Tommy Ly
As a research specialist at Pitsco, I stay up-to-date on the education curriculum industry and am part of a fun and dynamic team. I graduated from MSSU’s Computer Information Systems program and have a background in research analysis – a career in the US Army took me from Washington State to many places throughout the US. But my wife and I now call Missouri home, where we enjoy raising our two little ones. In my spare time, I can be found learning to play guitar, singing karaoke, playing video games, and coding.

Recent Posts

Encouraging self-esteem, growth mindset is important for today’s students and future workforce

Posted by Tommy Ly on May 21, 2019

May is National Teen Self-Esteem Month and an opportunity to raise awareness and take stock of the emotional health of our teens. Most everyone is a parent, aunt, uncle, teacher, or a friend of a teen. Or maybe you’re like me, with little ones that will someday be teens. We all have a stake in the emotional health of teens, so here are the skills that teens will need to stay strong. 

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Social and emotional learning, Future Ready, 21st Century Skills, Workforce Development

NSTA 2019 hot topics: Coding and Robotics

Posted by Tommy Ly on April 29, 2019

Science teachers and the next generation of American scientists and inventors filled the halls of the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis earlier this month. The NSTA National Conference hosted more than 300 exhibition booths specializing in disciplines from traditional life and physical sciences to makerspaces and rocket kits. By far the most astounding thing was the representation of coding on the exhibit floor.

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Topics: ROBOTICS, Technology, Trends, Coding, Future Ready, Hands-on Learning, Conferences

The telephone: Evolving communication

Posted by Tommy Ly on April 25, 2019

Greek legend has it that when the town of Marathon was invaded by the Persians many, many centuries ago, they outnumbered the Greeks four to one (Awesomestories.com). A soldier named Pheidippides ran 150 miles to ask the Spartans for help, only to be turned down. He ran back to the front lines, where he battled victoriously. He then ran a final 25 miles to Athens to utter “chairete, nikomen,” translated as “hail, we are the winners,” and then he died from exhaustion (Ridetothehills.wordpress.com). Coincidentally, the source of the word telephone’s etymology is Greek, meaning a far sound or voice. If anyone could have used a far voice, it was Pheidippides. April 25 marks National Telephone Day, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come with our “far voice.”

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Technology, innovate

National Peanut Month means it’s legume and jelly time!

Posted by Tommy Ly on March 28, 2019

Author’s Note: This blog was co-written with Educational Consultant Preston Frazier.

This month marks the 45th celebration of National Peanut Month (Nationalcalendarday.com). As the title suggests, and as many of you might already know, peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re legumes. Unlike its kidney bean, lentil, and pea cousins, the peanuts enjoy the limelight as one of America’s favorite snacks and food sources (Peanut-institute.org); it’s an important ingredient in several mainstream candy brands; and need I mention that it inspired a pretty catchy song and dance in 2001 (Peanutbutterjellytime.net)? In honor of National Peanut Month, we’re spreading the science (along with the tech and engineering) behind what it takes to make this infamous legume jelly’s other half.

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, Technology, STEM, Engineering, TETRIX Robotics, Hands-on Learning

Bubble Wrap – addictive and educational!

Posted by Tommy Ly on January 28, 2019

Did you know that four out of five teachers prefer the sound of popping Bubble Wrap bubbles to smacking gum? We didn’t get a response from the fifth one because he was mid-bubble. And in a recent double-blind study, one square foot of Bubble Wrap will keep an average teenager entertained for 30 percent longer than a fidget spinner. OK, I made that one up. But nearly everyone has had an experience with Bubble Wrap, either when receiving packages or when preparing packages to be sent. We all know the popping sound of Bubble Wrap like we know the syllables of our name.

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, Resources, Activities, Hands-on Learning, Art