BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER At its first partnership meeting of 2020, Denver South Economic Developme...
The struggle is real for parents raising kids in today’s digital world. From endless social media channels and...
History Colorado has announced that it will continue to help Colorado tell its stories through historic newspa...
Become an industry-ready social media marketer without the cost of hiring an expert. Join other business leade...
Sometimes things work out in just the right way. The history of CSU-Global, headquartered in Greenwood Village...
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC will hold an open house to share the details, scope, and timeline of the propose...
Innovative technology personalizes knee and hip replacement procedures Littleton Adventist Hospital is the fir...
Childhood obesity prompts young entrepreneur to create fitness gaming app BY PETER JONES NEWS EDITOR In an era...
Arapahoe Libraries is partnering with children, parents, caregivers and the community by offering resources on...
BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
At its first partnership meeting of 2020, Denver South Economic Development Partnership reminded the 100 government officials and business executives who came to listen of the continuing huge impact of aviation and aerospace on our state. Tom Brook, president and CEO, introduced the program.
Joe Rice, a well-known former state legislator, Glendale mayor, and Iraq war veteran, is government relations director of Lockheed Martin Space. He pointed out that Colorado is the number one state in per capita jobs in aerospace, with 52,860 primary space jobs and over 500 space-related companies, half of which are small businesses. He also pointed to Colorado’s NASA prime contracts that exceed $1 billion in value.
Today, Rice shared, only Russia and China are capable of human space flight, but Lockheed is working to change that with the Artemis program. The second phase, Artemis 2, is hoped to produce the first crewed flight by an American company as early as 2024.
Why go to Mars? Rice explained that the research that goes into the effort produces improvements in many other areas. He gave the example that mammogram technology came from the research that created the Hubbell Telescope.
Michael Fronapfel, director of planning and development at Centennial Airport came to explain the importance and economic impact of Centennial Airport, the second busiest general aviation airport in the United States.
In 2019 Centennial had 355,000 operations, including those of five separate very active flight schools. It also houses 125 individual businesses and 800 based aircraft. He presented data that showed that the total business revenue generated from economic activity related to Centennial Airport in 2018 was $2.1 billion.
One Centennial Airport-based company, Bye Aerospace, is developing the eFlyer, an electrically-powered aircraft that creates much less noise than traditional planes. Another, Boom Aerospace, is working on the XB-1 Overture that will fly 55 passengers at Mach 2.2 speed, making the trip from Los Angeles to Tokyo in seven hours and New York to London in 3.5 hours.
Other speakers from United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Oakman Aerospace, both based in south metro Denver, focused on the challenges of attracting and retaining high-quality employees.
ULA, which describes itself as a United States Department of Defense-funded business, employs 2,700 people in Colorado and at launch sites at Cape Canaveral, FL and Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, plus manufacturing facilities in Alabama and Texas and government relations personnel in Washington, D.C. After conducting an employer brand audit, ULA “moved to a new recruitment process outsourcing provider in late 2019, who is accomplished at sourcing passive candidates.” In other words, if you have talent, they will come knocking on your door, regardless of where you may be working.
The struggle is real for parents raising kids in today’s digital world. From endless social media channels and apps, to more serious dangers like cyberbullying and “sexting,” keeping our kids safe online can feel beyond overwhelming.
Arapahoe Libraries is partnering with parents, caregivers and the community by offering a workshop on how to safely navigate the internet presented by Katie Greer, a nationally recognized expert on internet/digital safety and technology, Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Koelbel Library, 5955 S. Holly St. in Centennial.
Greer will help parents navigate complicated digital waters, share trends and discuss what’s next on the horizon when it comes to children and technology. She’ll empower parents with proactive strategies to keep online learning safe and enjoyable. Due to mature program content and discussions, this program is for adults only. Greer, who has been featured on CNN and in USA Today and Parent’s Magazine, shares her dynamic message with thousands of parents, teachers, school administrators and law enforcement officials across the country. She developed her educational program while working for the Corruption, Fraud and Computer Crime Division of the Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts.
To learn more or to save your space for the program, visit arapahoelibraries.org/digital-safety or call 303-LIBRARY (303-542-7279).
History Colorado has announced that it will continue to help Colorado tell its stories through historic newspapers in an effort made possible by a supplemental grant of $224,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). History Colorado has actively collected, preserved, and provided access to newspapers since 1897, just two decades after the institution’s founding in 1879.
Between 2018 and 2020, the Colorado Digital Newspaper Project will digitize approximately 100,000 pages of pre-1923 Colorado newspapers and make them available for free to the public on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website.
Since 2016, History Colorado has been digitizing historic Colorado newspapers through the first award of the NEH-NDNP grant. By the end of this year, nearly 100,000 pages from 20 Colorado newspapers will have been scanned from microfilm and made into searchable digital files available through Chronicling America.
The Colorado Digital Newspaper Project has made content available from the African-American publication The Denver Star, later The Statesman; the Denver Jewish News and the Jewish Outlook; newspapers from Colorado’s Western Slope like the Delta Independent and Grand Junction’s Daily Sentinel; mining-town news from the Elk Mountain Pilot of Crested Butte; newspapers from towns on the Eastern Plains such as the Eastern Colorado Plainsman, Bent County Register, later the Lamar Register, and the Cheyenne Record from Cheyenne Wells; as well as the Cañon City Record, La Junta Tribune, Rocky Ford Enterprise and Ordway New Era. Digitization of the Meeker Herald, the New Era and North Park Union of Walden, the Springfield Herald and Trinidad’s Chronicle-News as well as the Greeley Tribune, Keota News, and Pueblo Chieftain is currently in production and those pages will be available in the coming months.
The digital newspaper pages have been and will continue to be added to one of Colorado’s best online resources, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC). A service of the Colorado State Library, CHNC provides access to over 1.1 million pages of Colorado’s newspapers.
“Colorado’s newspapers tell the stories of our communities. These papers cover historic events, but also the little stuff such as announcements of joy over marriages and births, winners of rodeos and high school football games,” says Kerry Baldwin, History Colorado’s Hart Research Library director. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to continue to help our communities access their stories.”
Beginning this October, History Colorado will work with an advisory board to identify newspapers to be digitized over a two-year period, considering the historical and cultural significance of newspapers in History Colorado’s collection, as well as newspapers that represent Colorado’s ethnic, economic, and geographic diversity that are not yet accessible online.
Become an industry-ready social media marketer without the cost of hiring an expert.
Join other business leaders Wednesday, July 25, for a full-day, hands-on workshop to develop your own Facebook marketing strategy. Small businesses and lean teams will build a standard ad in Facebook Ads Manager and engage in written content exercises, learning how to tailor posts for increased engagement and impressions. The workshop will be held 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and cost $475.
Teaching the workshop will be Matt Kaskavitch, who is regarded as one of the original innovators in the field of digital marketing and social media. An alumnus of the University of Wisconsin, he created his own degree from scratch; a degree program that would become one of the first digital marketing degrees in the United States.
Register at cvent.com/events/facebook-for-small-businesses/registration.
Sometimes things work out in just the right way. The history of CSU-Global, headquartered in Greenwood Village, is one of those stories. Launched in 2007 as the nation’s first nonprofit fully online state university (it is part of the of the Colorado State University system), its first class had 200 students. Today, it offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in career-oriented fields from business to education to health services and law enforcement. With 18,000 students currently enrolled, CSU-Global is fully accredited and has already awarded degrees to 10,000 students. A model of transparency, CSU-Global lists each of its over 400 instructors on its website, along with their educational credentials.
Initially envisioned as an institution whose mission was to serve working adults who had not completed their bachelor’s degrees or were seeking master’s degrees, Andrew Dixon, Director of Marketing, told local business and government leaders at a South Metro Denver Chamber program March 9, that the average age of CSU-Global students is 35. He also emphasized CSU-Global’s close connection with the local business community, making certain its course offerings lead to real jobs.
Having proved itself successful at serving older-student niche group, the university was approved to accept first-time freshman students in 2014, but the legislature limited that acceptance to out-of-state freshmen.
Online education, once presumed to be inferior to learning in a traditional classroom setting, has become acceptable and even preferable for many students, due to its flexibility and significantly lower cost. At $350 per credit hour, with no ancillary fees, CSU-Global compares favorably with its more traditional counterparts. CU-Boulder costs nearly $30,000 a year, all in. CSU-Fort Collins comes in at $24,000, and even Metro State University downtown isn’t much less expensive for students who don’t live at home with their parents.
Recognizing current realities, a group of four members of the Colorado legislature, comprised of a Democrat and a Republican from the statehouse and state senate, respectively, jointly sponsored Senate Bill 18-101, which was passed and signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper March 22. It removes the restriction that prevented CSU-Global from accepting first-time in-state college freshmen. Providing this option to Colorado high school graduate students and their parents opens a new avenue and a new option—a low-cost, accredited college education from a nonprofit, recognized major state university in our own backyard that can be completed on a schedule that works best for the individual student.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC will hold an open house to share the details, scope, and timeline of the proposed Titan Solar, LLC renewable energy project. Electricity produced by the project will be delivered to the adjacent Public Service Company of Colorado Missile Site substation. Before the project is reviewed before the Arapahoe County Planning Commission, an open house will be held on Thursday, December 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Deer Trail Town Hall at 555 2nd Ave. in Deer Trail.
Littleton Adventist Hospital is the first hospital in Colorado to offer robotic-arm assisted total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements with the Mako System. This advancement transforms how joint replacement surgeries are performed, enabling surgeons and patients to have a more predictable surgical experience.
Demand for joint replacements in the United States is expected to rise in the next decade, including a 673 percent rise in total knee replacements by 2030. Total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent. However, studies show that up to 30 percent of today’s patients are unsatisfied after conventional joint replacement surgery.
“The Mako robotic-arm allows us to provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience that’s specifically tailored to their needs and anatomy,” said Dr. Robert Thomas, who performs joint replacements at Littleton Adventist with partner Dr. Tim Lehman. “Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows surgeons to design each patient’s surgical plan prior to surgery for more precise implant placement.”
Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to personalize surgical plans and identify the ideal implant size, orientation and alignment. The Mako System also enables surgeons to modify the surgical plan intra-operatively.
In addition, the Mako partial knee application targets only the part of the joint damaged by osteoarthritis, allowing surgeons to resurface the diseased portion and spare the healthy bone and ligaments.
The Mako total hip application is for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease. Studies show Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup placement is four times more accurate than manual hip replacement procedures.
“We’re proud to be the first facility in our area to offer this advanced robotic technology,” said Michael Brendel, chief operating officer at Littleton Adventist. “This demonstrates our commitment to precision medicine and expands our regional leadership in robotic surgery.”
Entrepreneur Eesha Sheikh is preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Keeko, a fitness game she is developing at Innovation Pavilion, a high-tech co-working center in Centennial. She was inspired to create the app by her own difficult battle with childhood obesity. Photo by Peter Jones
BY PETER JONES
A primitive prototype for Keeko, which is expected to eventually incorporate a wearable fitness band that would track a player’s progress and synch it with the onscreen character. Photo by Peter Jones
In an era in which sedentary electronic “devicing” may be among the greatest obstacles to fitness among young people, leave it to Eesha Sheikh to toss a common assumption into calorie-burning headstands.
“Why fight the tide? Just move with the tide,” the 26-year-old entrepreneur said.
Sheikh means “move” quite literally, by winning one for personal health in the same gaming world that birthed a new generation of cellphone-dependent teenagers.
A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity says electronic devices have had a significant and negative influence on cardio-respiratory fitness among college students, concluding “high-frequency users were more likely … to report forgoing opportunities for physical activity in order to use their cellphones.”
Sheikh, a Centennial-based millennial, is running circles around such studies, hoping to prove that the answer to such problems as childhood obesity and poor fitness might be found in the same device that houses such apps as time-consuming Facebook, Tinder and Minecraft.
But first, Sheikh is playing another game, crowdfunding Keeko, her in-development game app designed to help players reach new levels of health and fitness through their own behavior and that of a personally designed onscreen character.
“It’s all about making exercise fun,” she said. “You’re doing it in a way where your focus is the game. The right balance of psychology, game design and game theory—that is what is going to set this apart from all the other apps out there.”
And it isn’t just exercise at play. Eating habits and other lifestyle choices are part of Keeko’s game design. Some are already incorporated into a prototype that Playpal, Sheikh’s parent company, has tested in focus groups. Plans are to incorporate a wearable fitness band that would track a player’s progress and synch it with the onscreen character.
“Everything is being tracked—your oxygen levels, your heart rate, your activity, how much you’re walking,” Sheikh said. “Your game play and how it evolves and how your character transforms throughout the gameplay is a direct consequence of your life. You are the game.”
One’s food choices would be entered manually, at least for the time being.
Players would also be able to compete with or track the progress of friends and strangers as they strive to improve the lives of their character—err themselves.
The entire apparatus—including the wearable band or ring and an app-trackable water bottle—would likely sell for something in the neighborhood of $100 to $150, Sheikh said.
There’s an app for that
A game like Keeko is something this tech entrepreneur wishes she had 20 years ago when she was struggling with her own childhood weight problem.
Born in Pakistan, her family emigrated to Texas when Sheikh was in elementary school, where the young transplant was bullied—not for her family’s Muslim faith or social customs, but for her weight, which had reached 170 pounds by the time she was 8.
“It was very bad. I was called the human jelly doughnut,” she said. “The popular kids used to come and just throw my food away. I became a very aggressive child. I would cry and scream at my parents and they didn’t know what to do with it.”
The family’s Pakistani cultural norms did not help matters when Sheikh’s traditional father and mother failed to take the problem seriously at first.
It was only when a doctor finally diagnosed the grade-schooler with clinical obesity, running afoul of the family’s health insurance, that her parents realized how serious the situation really was. Sheikh’s father soon incentivized his daughter’s weight loss with the promise of new toys, and in less than two years she lost 65 pounds—though not in the best way possible.
“I did it in a very unhealthy manner,” she said. “I went on fad diets. I went on banana and milk for a month. The doctor didn’t refer me to a nutritionist, which I thought was the weirdest thing ever. I love to eat. It’s hard to suppress it even now.”
As a young woman, Sheikh’s struggle continued. It was not until she was in high school that she says she fully understood what her battles with fitness were all about.
“I started to realize that my self-worth was more in my intellect and my service to the world,” she said. “You’ve got Victoria’s Secret, America’s Next Top Model. We forget the service we can give to the world as women, as opposed to just looking like Barbie dolls.”
Sheikh would eventually receive her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in medicinal chemistry, with an eye on somehow helping others. Her research was published and she was working to create cancer drugs by the time she was 18.
“I’ve always been an overachiever. I don’t think I would have been this courageous or ambitious if I hadn’t [gone through the weight-loss ordeal] at such a young age. I believed in myself like a crazy person,” she said.
After returning to Pakistan to work in her repatriated father’s business, Sheikh says she had a revelation about her future in helping the world through technology.
“I felt like if I combined both passions together, it could create something really magnificent,” she said. “I thought about the running-game genre. What about myself when I was a big kid running as a character collecting good foods and avoiding the bad foods—and what if it got synched with my body?”
In 2015, Sheikh relocated to Colorado and Centennial’s Innovation Pavilion to find her niche. With a few thousand dollars to her name, the young entrepreneur began supporting her dream project by developing other games, including one for Pepsi’s Sting energy drink.
Sheikh also hopes to raise between $500,000 and $1 million on a soon-to-launch Kickstarter campaign. If Keeko turns out to be worth its weight in financial investment, who knows where her socially conscious gaming may lead her?
“I come from a culture where women don’t get to do this,” Sheikh said. “They don’t get to leave their husbands for two and half months after getting married. Women don’t work. Women are expected to conform to certain roles—this is the biggest revolution of all of these.”
Could a game that sees a young Middle Eastern woman get points for striking out independently and starting her own international business be in the offing?
“That would be amazing. That’s a really good idea,” she said.
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