Frequently Asked Questions

TSoG.tv is an online science and engineering mentorship platform created and maintained by engineer and former university educator Dr. Steven J. Foland. It is an extension of the in-house mentorship program that The Shoulders of Giants offered to local students, and is envisioned as a method to capture that same world-class experience for students anywhere in the world.

TSoG.tv, a collaboration between The Shoulders of Giants, Inc. and our sister company, Floating Point Laboratories, LLC, leverages a number of cutting-edge technologies to provide video content, at-home exercises, live-streaming, and project support to our students.

Students of any age can watch all our web series. Students between 5th and 12th grade may apply for direct mentorship through the TSoG.tv platform.

$30 / month.

Have your parent / guardian submit an application through the application portal. In addition to some basic information about you, the application also requires you to have an active Discord profile (if you do not have an account, you can create one for free here).

Upon submission, you will be taken to a page to set up a 10 minute Discord interview with Dr. Foland to a) get to know you, your interests, and your goals, b) to make sure you are a good fit for the program, and c) give you an opportunity to ask questions about the program.

Payment information is required at the time of application submission, but will not be processed until you are approved following the interview. At that time, access to our Discord server and eLearning resources will go live.

Yes. For students who may not have the financial resources to take part in TSoG.tv, our board of directors has a formal approval process for providing need-based scholarships for TSoG.tv. These scholarships include assistance with the cost of membership and granting basic equipment for getting started with hands-on experiments. To be considered, select the box “I am interested in being considered for a financial aid scholarship” when
submitting the application form, A TSoG board member will follow up with you when funding is available to initiate the application process for a scholarship.

Although our videos are available to students of all ages, TSoG.tv membership is only available to students between 5th and 12th grade at this time.

Your eLearning profile will be suspended and Discord channels will not be accessible after cancellation. They may be restored after a new application is submitted, although you will need to complete the interview process again. Space is limited in TSoG.tv, and we can offer no guarantee that an open slot will be available after a break in your subscription.

We offer a variety of in-person events and summer programs. For a complete listing of upcoming events of this type, please visit our Live Events page.

The Shoulders of Giants tracks all of the achievements of our students and maintains internal course completion records which students can list on their résumés. Students can, and have, successfully applied for official credit through their schools for work they have completed with The Shoulders of Giants, but we leave this up to the initiative of our students and the discretion of their teachers and school administrators.

As TSoG.tv operates globally, it is not possible for us to maintain and map our course content to accreditation standards in all regions. Here is Dr. Foland’s official statement on the matter:

“When I was the undergraduate program director for biomedical engineering at UT Dallas, I led that program through two cycles of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) evaluation, first earning our initial accreditation in 2015, then maintaining it in 2017. I recognize the value of the standards they placed on our program, and maintain the same level of academic integrity and quality in all of our programs at TSoG.

“With that being said, there are three primary reasons that I will never personally pursue formal accreditation for The Shoulders of Giants’ programs:

  1. Accreditation is great when you need to be able to compare degrees from many different similar programs throughout the world. Without accreditation, it would be hard to compare a degree from University A to the same degree from University B. However, TSoG strives to be unique in both our content and delivery; there really is, in my opinion, no comparison to the programs we offer our students. To try to fit what we do into a mold that could be compared to others would sell us short.
  2. There is nothing I enjoy more than working with students who come to me out of a pure love of learning and discovery. With formal grades come students who need those grades to advance their careers, and their professors become the arbiters of those grades; this leads to a naturally adversarial relationship between students and faculty that I do not believe is beneficial to the learning process. It also leads to competition between students that is, in my opinion, also detrimental. These are some of the main reasons I stepped away from a university environment; I enjoy a much more casual “mentorship” model of interaction with my students through TSoG, I enjoy the friendships I see form in this laid-back environment, and I would like to keep it that way.
  3. Formal accreditation is an administrative nightmare. Not only was a large chunk of my time at the university dedicated to maintaining our standing with ABET, but I required a staff of at least 3 people (at times, peaking at 5) just to handle the program-wide documentation. At TSoG, I’m just a guy with a camera who wants to teach some kids about science; again, I’d like to keep it that way. Adding more administrative overhead to our program would prevent us from offering this experience to students as inexpensively as we currently can, and, in my opinion, nothing of value to the experience of our students would be gained.

“In short, I hope my students take the opportunity to enjoy this unique experience, make new friends, and become the best versions of themselves they can be during their time with the program.”

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