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Evanston entrepreneur’s ‘mercy’ card helps the needy

If you feel a twinge of guilt in the worst of a Chicago winter when a homeless person begs for food, an Evanston entrepreneur may have come up with an answer. Jed JohnHope, 30, whose family has seen hard times, is creating a “Mercy” gift …

Motorola Solutions’ 3-D headset aids work


Motorola Solutions, the Schaumburg-based maker of walkie-talkies and bar-code readers, is selling a headset computer worn under a hard hat that calls up and displays complex drawings just below the worker’s line of sight.

Seeing Braille into 21st century


A Lake Zurich company has played a key role in redesigning a 1950s-era Braille writer into a ‘talking’ LCD-screen device intended to make it easier for people to learn Braille. The new Perkins Smart Brailler, with a “brain” developed by Product Development Technologies, addresses a …

Web savvy draws big for college


Ornis Mala honed his computer skills developing databases, specialty apps and software systems at Lake Forest College, a liberal-arts school whose digital media design studies, specialized website portals and Loop-residency internship program reflect the changing needs of today’s workforce. Mala, 23, a native of Kosovo …

Formula to get girls into science


Sixteen-year-old Evergreen Park native K’Maja Bell offered an exclusive glimpse into a new e-book about the cosmos at the nation’s yearly gathering of the American Astronomical Society. Bell has gained her expertise working for the past two years as the youngest-ever intern for astrophysicist Kim …

A stronger ‘innovation ecosystem’


Students, scientists and researchers in the Chicago area have a new outlet to delve into supercomputing, green energy, the human genome and other hot topics, and to work with manufacturers to try to put the ideas into action. The Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering …

Under-the-radar job growth


Three Chicago-area science and technology whizzes are busy learning their trades in fast-growing careers. Their work ranges from designing a comedian’s interactive stage set to mapping a health plan for trees to figuring out why the universe is rapidly expanding. Their ease at winning projects, …

Local designer picked up by Macy’s on NBC’s ‘Fashion Star’


Whew! Chicago contestant Barbara Bates finally got a win on last night’s “Fashion Star,” NBC’s reality fashion design competition. After three episodes of being rejected by the buyers from Macy’s, H&M and Saks, Bates finally scored with two casual haltler dresses, snatched up by Caprice …

‘Girly girl’ gets down, dirty to hunt fossils in Sahara


Chatham native Kaitlin Judkins concedes she was a “girly girl” cheerleader who hated getting dirty or skinning her knee before she found “Project Exploration,” a Chicago non-profit that dinosaur hunter Paul Sereno started so city kids could learn about science in outdoor archeological digs.

New ECC building designed for real world in health care


ELGIN — Bright, spacious, inviting, relaxing — all while echoing a hospital-like environment — were just some of the observations made as Elgin Community College unveiled its new Health and Life Sciences Building to the public. Opened for students and classes for the January semester, …

Mayor: Joliet ‘ready to reinvent itself’


JOLIET — The city of Joliet is showing it’s “ready to reinvent itself,” Mayor Thomas Giarrante said more than once in a State of the City speech Tuesday. Giarrante pointed to new business coming to town, a leaner city government and public projects in the …

Girl Scouts’ study shows career stereotypes still prevalent


The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana offered teams of girls the chance to show their expertise in science and math through Lego Robotics projects that were on display Monday during a two-hour program. The event coincided with a presentation by the Girl Scouts introducing the STEM Advisory Task Force,.

City challenges departments with innovation fund

Chicago city government is turning to its own departments to vie against one another in developing innovative ideas, and it’s setting up a $20 million loan fund as an incentive.

Code experts take a crack at upgrading Chicago’s 311 system

Chicago is one of eight cities to win a competition that brings in a team of software coders who will delve into the Open 311 system. The result is expected to be more data for local software developers to crunch in order to create apps that will help people track city services.

Districts proactive in meeting new school lunch standards


LAKE IN THE HILLS — Ten-year-old Denise Bush said the chicken patty sandwich is “mostly my favorite” school lunch. “My mom cooks it, and it’s really good,” she said. Luckily for the pigtailed fourth-grader, that was one of the items on the menu Thursday in …