TODAY | January 24, 2014
>>> wrapping up our healthy, wealthy wise series this morning with the wisest city in america. traveled to a place on the forefront of creativity, a birthplace, you might say, of big ideas .
>> they call it the capital of silicon valley , san jose sits in a region home to some of the biggest names in tech, apple, google, facebook and ebay. in the shadow of stanford, one of the top universities, america's tenth largest city attracts the best and brightest. more than half of all adults have a college degree . the drive to create and innovate starts early here. you won't find many textbooks at this middle school . 300 seventh and eighth graders learn math, science and english through collaborative projects.
>> they have to use critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity to solve a problem that they're presented with.
>> reporter: and working in teams is better preparation for the workplace.
>> the students learn the same content, but they apply it. and so that learning goes a little deeper and it lasts a lot longer.
>> it's a lot more fun, a lot more hands on. traditional schools you say, oh, here's a work sheet , everyone do the same thing. here's a project, we want you to think of a fun way and different way to do this.
>> reporter: more than 6,000 technology companies make their home here, and the region attracts 40% of all venture capital money invested in the u.s. san jose is such a hub for entrepreneurship, there's a museum of innovation here. and why not? 1 out of every 8 patents issued in the u.s. comes from this region.
>> sam and walter have several patents pending .
>> heart damage, sign of congestion in both lungs.
>> it might some day become as common as the home thermometer.
>> in ten seconds.
>> the pocket-sized device records blood pressure and other vital signs sending them to your smartphone.
>> i don't need a smartphone to tell me if i'm stressed out, though.
>> reporter: the couple moved here from belgium two years ago. they had no trouble finding the skilled workers they needed to take the device from dream to reality.
>> there's nothing wrong about dreaming here. and if you are willing enough to work hard, find the right people, raise the right kind of money, people are very going along with you.
>> the offices around skrcanadu.
>> one thing it taught us is innovation comes from people. and what has made silicon valley and san jose innovative is the ability to attract the best and brightest people not just from the united states but all over the world.
>> reporter: a city on the leading edge of technology. for many, makes san jose a wise choice. for "today," nbc news, san jose .
>> and so many patents were being issued in san jose , the government has put a patent office in the san jose post office . that is a first anywhere in the country.
>> wow. wise. wise place.
>> wicked smart there.
>> i know, but it works.