TI Education is capitalizing on the success of the STEM Behind Hollwood initiative for the TI-Nspire (which we were thrilled to port to the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition and hope to bring to the TI-84 Plus CE) with a new series of activities, STEM Behind Health. Created in partnership with Sanford Health, "[these] STEM lessons task students with making life-or-death decisions for real patients suffering from real diseases." The first activity in the series, currently available for the TI-Nspire CX, challenges students to help a nursing student manage diabetes and search for a cure to the disease. According to TI, "[s]ubsequent activities will explore breast cancer and the genetics of rare disease." We're always excited to get students excited about STEM, and we of course love using graphing calculators as more than just calculators, so we applaud this new initiative to combine fun STEM activities and graphing calculators in the classroom. We look forward to following STEM Behind Health's future developments, and perhaps bringing these activities to the TI-84 Plus family.
In other news, the TI-84 Plus CE continues to make its way from Texas Instruments, to distributors, and thence to teachers and students (and us). We have received word that as more users get their hands on it, a bug has been discovered in the hibernate (deep sleep) functionality. We first heard about this feature when we interviewed Dr. Peter Balyta, President of TI Education, about the new calculator. It's intended to ensure that if the TI-84 Plus CE is left alone for a long period of time, say over summer vacation, it won't have a depleted battery when you go to use it in the fall. Cemetech user calc84maniac received a note from Underwood Distributing, and we have followed up with Texas Instruments. Their comment on the matter:
Texas Instruments is developing an update to the operating system (OS) of the TI-84 Plus CE to fix a software issue. In some instances, when the TI-84 Plus CE is turned off, and not turned on or recharged for several days, there is a very slight chance that it will not function properly. Updating to the latest OS will resolve the issue.
We are updating all products currently in production with the new OS and will proactively inform customers who already own the TI-84 Plus CE on how to upgrade. The new OS will be available for download in May. This will not affect availability of the new TI-84 Plus CE during the back-to-school buying season. Customers with questions should contact 1-800-TI-CARES.
We'll keep you posted on this issue and let you know when the new operating system version is available, for those of you who already have TI-84 Plus CEs.