About Lightning Smart®

Making Schools Work

Lightning Smart® is a new Chicago-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It is creating innovative educational programming designed to improve student test outcomes and address the nation's economic problems. The two are integrally connected. One of the major contributors to K-12 student underachievement is the absence of relevance. Children often underperform due to uncertain job prospects.

The name of the project being developed by Lightning Smart® is Charlene and Vernon's Adventures in Learning (CVAL). The purpose of our work is to introduce a series of digital educational games that can be engaged on all electronic devices. The programming will focus on K-12 students and will be available for free. CVAL games are at: lightningsmart.org.

The context for all programming will be volume goods production - value-added activity from extraction to factory assembly. Students will be taught the origins of products they see and use daily. CVAL games will not include violence of any type. Solving problems will be fully incorporated into the game play.

CVAL is intended to teach K-12 students about manufacturing associated activities, such as engineering, product design, robotics, and nanotechnology. Students will learn about production processes, solving problems as a team effort and entrepreneurship. STEM skills development is a major focus.

CVAL will consist of many different games and scenarios. Current games are, Apples to Applesauce and Crude Oil to Cool Toy. Coming games include, Iron Ore to Cars & More, Mill to Mall, Wood to Word and Moo to Shoe.

Over the past three decades we have exported millions of our best jobs - in manufacturing. Much of the alternative employment is low skill, low productivity and low wage. This includes many retail, sales, leisure, personal and food service jobs. As a result, social skills have become a more valuable prerequisite to acquiring employment than intellectual proficiency.

To address the jobs challenge, it is necessary to start making what we buy. However, a future manufacturing economy will not include large numbers of unskilled line workers who must compete with people in developing countries. New production facilities will consist of skilled technicians who design, build and maintain robotic fabrication equipment using state-of-the-art materials and technology. The mission of Lightning Smart® is to prepare students for those industries.

Lightning Smart® is seeking funding from foundations and school districts in order to make its product available at no cost. Please let me know if you have any questions or you can be of assistance in bringing our vital programs to K-12 students. Thank you for your time.

Lightning Smart®

Eli Fishman, Director