SciGirls Seven: Proven Strategies for Engaging Girls in STEM

Yesterday I had the honor of attending a meeting for the new Oregon Girls Collaborative Project. Back in 2000, I became a champion on the board of the National Girls Collaborative Project. I’ve watched the project grow over the years and now, there is a program in Oregon. It’s great to see it so close to home.

The meeting was about Exemplary Practices for Engaging Girls in STEM. One of the major features was SciGirls. If you aren’t familiar, SciGirls is a PBS tv show for kids ages 8-12 that showcases bright, curious real tween girls putting science and engineering to work in their everyday lives. Each half-hour episode follows a different group of middle school girls, whose eagerness to find answers to their questions will inspire children to explore the world around them and discover that science and technology are everywhere!

scigirlsThe SciGirls approach—for the TV show, website, and educational materials—is rooted in research about how to engage girls in STEM. A quarter of a century of studies have converged on a set of common strategies that work, and these have become SciGirls’ foundation. These strategies are the SciGirls Seven.

  1. Girls benefit from collaboration, especially when they can participate and communicate fairly.
  2. Girls are motivated by projects they find personally relevant and meaningful.
  3. Girls enjoy hands-on, open-ended projects and investigations.
  4. Girls are motivated when they can approach projects in their own way, applying their creativity, unique talents, and preferred learning styles.
  5. Girls’ confidence and performance improves in response to specific, positive feedback on things they can control—such as effort, strategies, and behaviors.
  6. Girls gain confidence and trust in their own reasoning when encouraged to think critically
  7. Girls benefit from relationships with role models and mentors.

When designing programs to engage girls, the SciGirls Seven is a great place to start.

Engineering Curricula

go-to-guideHow to engineer change in your middle school science classroom

With the Next Generation Science Standards, your students won’t just be scientists—they’ll be engineers. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Seamlessly weave engineering and technology concepts into your middle school math and science lessons with this collection of time-tested engineering curricula for science classroom materials. Features include:

  • A handy table that leads you to the chapters you need
  • In-depth commentaries and illustrative examples
  • A vivid picture of each curriculum, its learning goals, and how it addresses the NGSS
  • More information on the integration of engineering and technology into middle school science education

Highly recommended, Go-to-Guides are also available for elementary and high school.

Engineering Technology Bachelor’s Degrees

databytesjanAs the table shows, Industrial Engineering Technology has exhibited the largest growth, with a 48 percent increase in bachelor’s degrees from 2008 to 2013. With the exception of Computer Engineering and Construction Engineering Technology, decreasing by 11 percent and 4 percent, respectively, there has been a steady increase in Engineering Technology bachelor’s degrees from 2008 to 2013.

Source: ASEE Databytes Connections Newsletter

Engineering and Sheep

windfarmsheepAbout two weeks ago, I attended the birthday party of a good friend. In making conversation I met a woman who owned a sheep farm. After I had the pleasure of learning oodles of information about sheep, she said,

“Don’t you encourage girls to go into engineering?”

“Yes, and boys too.” I said.

Then, to my horror, she said, “My daughter would have made a great engineer, she thinks just like a man.”

I sat there for a few seconds with my mouth open, unable to form words. I knew I couldn’t change her perception of engineering in the space of a party without getting crazy and without enough time. In addition, her daughter was now in her late twenties with children so no immediate change in behavior would change the trajectory of her daughter’s life.

When I recovered, in my struggle to stay civil and keep my voice steady, I said,

“What does your daughter do now?”

She said, “She never really found the right thing. She is working as a receptionist.”

I stared at the floor as she went back to talking about sheep. How I wish she and her daughter had the opportunity to attend a Mother/Daughter TEA Workshop all those years ago. The event is a great education for mothers too and provides the support for a daughter to pursue a STEM career. In many workshops, I’ve had mothers approach me and ask if it was too late for them to become engineers. I’ve heard countless stories from mothers about how an event or person steered them away from engineering but now, they wanted to try again.

We don’t have to let history repeat itself. In the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop, mothers will see that their daughters make great engineers. The idea that engineering is only for people that think like men is skewed and outdated. Exposing mothers (or both parents) to engineering and to how her daughter can have a meaningful, prestigious and lucrative career is the one of the goals of the Mother/Daughter TEA workshop. They will understand the large range of career possibilities and see how and where their daughter’s talents fit. For any girl, having her mothers support can not only build a stronger relationship but can also increase her self-confidence. This event can provide the scaffolding to pursue her dreams.

The Mother/Daughter TEA is a 4-hour hands-on engineering workshop, usually on a Saturday morning, held in your community. If you aren’t doing these or planning one, contact me for more information. I still have about 10 Saturdays available this school year and would be happy to help you jump start an engineering program or recruit for your classes next year.

Crazy Popular Workshops!

If you want to promote engineering and/or STEM careers, below is table that outlines two of the best workshops you can offer students and parents. Of those polled, 96% of students that attended say they are now considering an engineering (or STEM) career.

If you want to engage students and parents, recruit for your engineering classes or motivate students, these workshops are the answer! All available dates in 2015 are listed in our new online booking system.

Jump aboard now because the train is already moving.

Crazy Popular Workshops!

Engineering Exploration Day (EED)Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude)
Who attendsParent or guardian and middle school son or daughter.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Usually Mother and middle school daughter. Can also be a Parent/Daughter Day so that either parent can attend.

*Ages can range from 5th-10th grade.
Number of attendeesUp to 40 teams of parents and children.Up to 40 teams of mothers and daughters.
Time of eventMost often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.Most often, this event is held on a Saturday morning from 9:00am-1:00pm or 10:00am-2:00pm. Mini sessions can also run from 5:00-8:00pm on any night of the week.
Celeste Baine's ResponsibilitiesShe will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 parent/child teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing catapults, helmets or cranes.

She will also bring prizes, and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
She will bring all materials needed to engage no more than 40 mother/daughter teams in hands-on engineering activities for the entire workshop. Activities are customizable but usually include solving problems, building tabletop hovercrafts, designing prosthetic hands, helmets or cranes and placing a band-aid on a Whale.

She will also bring prizes, a take-home engineering kit and a copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You? for each student.
Host Organization's Responsibilities1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
1. Provide the workshop location.
2. Marketing, inviting and registering students and parents.
3. Provide morning snacks and lunch.
Host one of these very popular workshops in your community!

In addition, if you want to have many of these workshops at your location (a very good idea), attend one of our Train the Trainer workshops to get on the fast track to offering this extraordinary opportunity.

For more information, download our event planning guide or email Celeste.

Celebrate eWeek

Engineers Week is right around the corner. This is a chance to celebrate engineering and technology with thousands of like-minded people all over the world.

To find out more about engineering and learn ways to celebrate, visit:

If you want to decorate the halls, put up some posters. The majority were designed by students and I promise you will find many that you like.

If you run contests or competitions and need inexpensive student prizes, check out our colorful and fun engineering pins.

If you want to do easy, fun and high-engagement hands-on activities with students, take a look at Teaching Engineering Made Easy for activity ideas and inspiration.

If you are an engineer planning to visit a classroom, take a look at our eWeek kits to make your visit memorable and dynamic.

Whatever you do, just be sure to celebrate. The week runs from Feb 22-28, 2015.

The Beauty of Hydraulics

phandWhen teaching engineering design, there are a few principles that make you think differently. Everyone is used to putting puzzle pieces together in a certain way. We each have own way of doing things. But hydraulics changes everything.

In our new Hydraulics Challenge Laboratory, teams of students are given syringes, tubing and an assortment of other materials to challenge them to create something powered by hydraulics. To make a syringe, filled with water, power and move something stretches your mind. It makes you think differently. I’ve seen students whiz through hydraulic activities and I’ve seen them get stumped. The best part is that at the end of a 60-minute build period, they all have something that works.

If you want to have fun during Engineers Week this year, this lab is the way to go! You’ll receive a box of materials that will enable you to hold five hydraulic design challenges. There are enough consumables to have 5 teams of students create a puppy that sits on command, 5 teams can make a draw bridge, another 5 can make cranes or prosthetic hands or marble chutes. 25 teams of students can work simultaneously on exactly what they want. When they are through, reuse the syringes and tubing and you’ll still have enough materials to do it again the next day and the day after that (for up to 5 days). There are no wrong answers and what a great way to experience engineering design!

Check it out!

Girls and Engineering – Training Date Added

Reserve your spot in our upcoming Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Train-the-Trainer Workshop! This event is one of the best I’ve ever seen at getting middle school girls interested in engineering and technical careers. If you aren’t holding one in your community, your girls are missing out on an extraordinary opportunity.

Date: February 21, 2015, 9:00-3:30

Mother/Daughter TEA held at Ferris State University in Nov, 2014


The Train-the-Trainer workshop is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer and enables you to use our materials, resources and marketing connections to hold your own Mother/Daughter TEA events in your community. When you want to host TEAs in your community, your credentials will save time and money.  You’ll walk into a room of 40 girls (and Moms or Dads too) with everything needed to smoothly facilitate an engaging event that will help prepare them for high wage opportunities in the engineering and technology industries.

There’s more! This upcoming training is very special in that everyone who comes will receive a free Is There an Engineer Inside You? upgrade!  Usually, within each toolkit is a set of 40 copies of Ideas in Action: a Girl’s Guide to Careers in Engineering that you can give to each girl to take home and learn more about engineering careers. For this Feb 21 workshop only, you will receive a case of Is There an Engineer Inside You? instead of Ideas in Action. This is a $998 value – more than the cost of the workshop!

Date: February 21, 2015, 9:00-3:30

Location: Willamalane Adult Center, Springfield, OR

If you are planning to attend this training, register right away to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Book Title Contest Results

cuterobot1Last week we held a book title contest for my new book about careers in robotics. We had 42 titles submitted. The competition was fierce. We investigated, tried and explored each entry. In the end, we decided upon…… (drum roll please),

Robot Makers: Careers in Robotics

The prize goes to Mark Piotrowski for submitting RobotKeepers: Careers in Robotics. Although Mark’s submittal was not the title we ultimately selected, it served as the genesis of the idea.

Congratulations Mark!

Pre-publication copies will be available for Engineers Week 2015! Stay tuned for more about it in the coming months.


Book Title Contest

Want to win a free book? Help me name my new book. Post your ideas in the comments of this posting or email them to me and you’ll be in the running to win a free autographed copy when it is released in March! Title should be snappy, descriptive and enticing. You can enter as many times as you want.

Written for high school students, the book is about career opportunities in robotics. It covers who works in robotics, the types of robots, applications of robots, and the degrees usually associated with careers in robotics. To give you a better idea of what is inside, a rough table of contents is below.

You have until midnight on Monday, Dec 15. I’ll announce the winner next week. Good Luck!


Part One – All About Robots

  • What is a Robot
  • Who works in Robotics?

Part Two – Types of Robots

  • Fixed Robots – Factory and Industrial Manipulators
  • Mobile
    • Ground
    • Aerial
    • Marine

Part Three – Applications

  • Robots in the Military
  • Robots in Medicine and Healthcare
  • Robots in Space
  • Disaster Robotics
  • Sporting Robots
  • Educational Robots

Part Four – The Many Approaches to Careers in Robotics

  • Engineering
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Computer Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Electromechanical Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Robotics Engineering
  • Engineering Technology
    • Biomedical Engineering Technology
    • Computer Engineering Technology
    • Mechanical Engineering Technology
    • Electromechanical Engineering Technology
    • Electrical Engineering Technology
    • Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Computer Science

Part Five – Getting Started



Girls, parents learn about engineering

ferristeaThe Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Workshop is simply the best event I have ever seen at getting girls interested in engineering. Designed for middle school girls, the STEM workshop strives to educate girls and their mothers and/or fathers about the abundant opportunities in engineering and all fields of technology.

If you aren’t already holding events like this, drop everything and position yourself to hold one this upcoming Spring. Spring is a good time because students and parents are looking ahead, thinking about classes, and reviewing options for next year. I have facilitated this event in both the Fall and Spring. The majority of workshops, held in the Spring, are sold out.

I started this month at Ferris State University. The event was held for 8th-11th grade girls. Two weeks from the kickoff, with only 40 slots available, we had six families on the waiting list. This event was special because the University president stopped by to show his support, the admissions department talked about scholarships, and after the workshop, when the girls were very excited about engineering and technology careers, the administration took the mother/daughter teams on a tour of the school. It was a jam-packed day of learning and exploring.

From there, I traveled to Weber State University for our annual event. Weber State University has held these events every year for the last six years. In fact, it is so popular that we now hold two events – a mini event on Friday night and the regular TEA on Saturday. Each time, they pack the house with girls that are interested in engineering and technology careers.

As I reflect on the three workshops, read over emails from happy parents, and download the photos, I couldn’t be happier about the lives we touched.

Find out more about holding a Mother or Parent /Daughter Workshop your community.


Book Give-Away Distribution

ITAEIY4_300x450If you missed the opportunity to get a free copy of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, you’ll have to wait until next year – unless you are one of the lucky ones who attends an event sponsored by one of our book give-away partners.

We are currently in the second year of a five year program to freely distribute 100,000 books. Books have been shipped all over the world and are also available as a free download on many partner’s websites.

In the 2013-2014 school year, about 8000 books were distributed.

This year, the numbers are already better! I am forecasting that almost 16,000 books will be distributed and downloaded – a 100% increase! There are 17 partners working hard to promote engineering education and this effort will undoubtedly reach more students, teachers, counselors, and parents.

If you have a special program and wish to receive books next year, watch for my 100K Book Give-Away announcement this Spring and jump in with your request/application.

2014-2015 EESC Distribution

  1. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (200 books)
  2. Global STEM Education Center (50 books)
  3. Nicholson STEM Academy (144 books)
  4. Reading High School (1 book)
  5. Everett Public Schools (2 books)
  6. Raisbeck Aviation High School (64 books)
  7. Rockingham Middle School (40 books)
  8. Bio-Med Academy (16 books)
  9. Penn Manor High School Engineering Club (100 books)
  10. Casa Verde High School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (30 books)
  11. Muscatine Community School District (40 books)
  12. Timberlane Regional High School (1 book)
  13. Hampton City Schools (18 books)
  14. Meadow Hill Middle School (15 books)
  15. Robbins AFB, GA (20 books)
  16. Union Public Schools (15 books)
  17. Affton High School – Future Strong STEM night (80 books)
  18. Assumption School (1 book)
  19. St. Cloud Area School District 742 (12 books)
  20. Syracuse University (40 books)
  21. Midway Elementary School of Science and Engineering (6 books)
  22. Northampton Community College (10 books)
  23. Futureintech (20 books)
  24. Wichita State University, STEMpact2020 (40 books)

2014-2015 Book Give-Away Partners

My thanks and gratitude go to the Official National Partners that banded together to put this book in the hands of thousands of students. Each partner is giving away 300 books plus their websites are great places to visit and get a free download.

  1. Auburn University
  2. Boston Society of Civil Engineers
  3. Christian Brothers University
  4. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  5. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  6. Louisiana Tech University
  7. Missouri University of Science and Technology
  8. Northwestern State University
  9. Prefreshman Engineering Program, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  10. Purdue University
  11. Rowan University
  12. SeaPerch
  13. Society of Women Engineers, Tulsa Northeast Oklahoma Section
  14. Tulsa Public Schools
  15. University of Evansville
  16. University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  17. Weber State University


Robotics Club Interview

cuterobot1The following questions were from an interview conducted by an Elementary Education student at University of Oklahoma.

1. What are the benefits of having Robotics in elementary schools?

Robotics, or building anything, increases a child’s spatial visualization skills. In other words, it helps them see in 3-D which helps in design, creativity and “making” other things (think Maker movement). It also increases their self-esteem. In a study done in Peru, they found that in 2nd, 4th and 6th grades, students who used LEGO had an increase in self-esteem. It also increased their technology, language and math skills.

2. How can Robotics be beneficial for students who will not grow up to be engineers?

I believe an engineering education is the best education anyone can get – even if they don’t want to be an engineer because the education teaches you how to think. Students learn analytical and problem solving thought processes that help in everything that they do – even raising children (“Cheaper by the Dozen” was a movie about two industrial engineers raising 12 children).

Robotics is also a great way to figure out who you are. It’s fun, challenging and can help students find their strengths. They learn to work in teams and communicate with other people. They share ideas, come up with innovative solutions and problem solve. Again, these skills can help in everything that they do.

Another important point is exposure. How can students know what they like or don’t like and what skills they have or can develop, if they aren’t exposed to STEM based opportunities?  In the United States, 70% of the jobs require at least 4 years of math in high school. Robotics can give them the motivation to keep their aspirations high. They are exposed to the application of science, engineering, technology and math. They have the opportunity to know why they take science and math classes and have another reason to pay attention in class.

There is no downside. The worst case is that they find they don’t like it. That exposure is also important to their development.

3. How easy can it be to incorporate Robotics and Robotics-like activities into a school if you are a teacher who has no experience with robots or engineering?

In my opinion, if the teacher has the time and funding or materials, it’s very doable. The most critical elements are:

  1. Finding an engineer that is willing to help mentor and talk about real-world applications.
  2. Finding another teacher that has done it and talking to or working with them to get it started.

Some teachers have great difficulty with classroom control in engineering design. They are used to having very tight control so that their students behave in a certain way. Engineering design requires the opposite. They have to be OK with the class being loud, crazy or chaotic. Teamwork, brainstorming and designing are not quiet and orderly processes. Beginning to teach engineering or robotics in an informal club environment is a very low-stress/high-reward way to get experience teaching these subjects.

Engineering design also has a “fail” component which is opposite to how most classes are taught. Learning from failure is critical to good design. Teachers who emphasize that there are no wrong answers and that design is a constantly evolving process usually have great classroom success.

PowerPack Power

Today’s the big day! It’s the day that you can get an amazing variety of resources to help you introduce engineering and engineering technology to your students.

The Engineering PowerPack:  A Career Presentation Bundle, is ready!

The PowerPack includes presentations on 32 types of engineering and engineering technology that students can watch independently and a fully editable teaching presentation for introducing the different branches of engineering. Each disc also includes a short quiz and a career handout.

teacher-cdOne of the most powerful aspects of this 32 CD set is that there is no limit to how much you can edit the teaching version and no limit to what you can do with it after the editing. Say that you want to give a presentation on civil, manufacturing, or biomedical engineering and you have a few notes but not enough to give a 15-20 minute introduction. Now you have a solution: Put in the disk, transfer the teacher version to your computer, add your notes, sprinkle in your ideas, change a few pictures, add your slides and Viola! You now have a 15-20 minute presentation on any of the 32 types of engineering and technology. You can give this presentation to your class, post in on your server for students to download and/or provide handouts to your audience. As long as you have customized the presentation, you are welcome to post it online for your students. This set is made for middle and high school teachers but by editing the teaching version, it can suit any level of student. The slides are unique, highly graphic and colorful. See samples

Get a Free Book or DVD to celebrate the release of this amazing collection! Purchase the Engineering PowerPack by October 31 and as a bonus, you’ll receive:

  • a 15% discount
  • A free book or DVD (four options available)
  • Free Shipping

Get yours today! You can’t go wrong!

Still Time to Get Free Books for your STEM Program

Is There an Engineer Inside You?The books arrived yesterday! A big semi pulled up and two pallets of books were dropped off.

These are books that you can request for your STEM or engineering program.

There is no charge. It’s first-come first-serve. Even the shipping to you is covered.

It’s part of the 100,000 Book Give-Away. The seventeen colleges and organizations that chipped-in want all students to understand the potential of an engineering degree or career. They know that an engineering education is one of the best a person can get and they want to share their positive feelings, thoughts and attitudes. They want to see students get informed and succeed. One Dean of an engineering school told me, “It’s the right thing to do.”

I’m not alone – they are each giving away books and most also have the book on their website for students to freely download.

If you are a recipient of books for your students, please don’t forget to thank the partners!

The 2014 Book Give Away was Made Possible By the Colleges and Organizations Below

Christian Brothers University Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Missouri University of Science and Technology Tulsa Public Schools Boston Society of Civil Engineers University of Tennessee Knoxville Seaperch Northwestern State University Rowan University Louisiana Tech University University of Texas San Antonio Purdue University University of Evansville Auburn University Society of Women Engineers Indiana University Purdue University Idianapolis Weber State University

Engineering Workshops

Want to attend a fast paced dynamic workshop full of of hands-on activities and that motivate and engage students?

Below is a summary of the most popular workshops I offer. Each can be facilitated at your location and customized for your attendees.

1. Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) – Most Popular

The Mother/Daughter Technology Engineering Aptitude (TEA) is a one day event that provides middle school girls with a tremendous opportunity to complete hands-on activities and interact with an engineering professional to learn about valuable, high-wage opportunities in the engineering industry. The Mother/Daughter TEA event was founded to encourage young women to take an interest in pursuing a career in the engineering industry.

The idea for organizing a mother/daughter engineering workshop came from the belief that a supportive environment at home that encourages engineering and technological careers offers young girls an extraordinary opportunity to develop non-traditional interests and aspirations. Mothers were involved to expose them to the kinds of engineering careers that are available and to influence them to encourage their daughters to learn more about engineering.

More Information


2. Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) Train-the-Trainer

Our Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) event is one of the best approaches to getting middle school girls interested in engineering and technical careers. In surveys from previous events, 95% of girls said they are now interested in learning more about engineering!

The Train-the-Trainer workshop for holding your own Mother/Daughter TEA events is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer and use our materials, resources and marketing connections to host an unlimited number of TEAs in your community. After the training, you’ll walk into a room of 40 girls (and Moms or Dads too) with everything needed to smoothly facilitate an engaging event that will help prepare the girls for high wage opportunities in the engineering and technology industries.

Upcoming trainings: Nov 7-8, 2014 and Spring 2015 (exact date and location TBD)


More Information


3. Teaching Engineering Made Easy

Audience: Late Elementary, Middle and Early High School Teachers, 1 day- 6 hours, Max 26 teachers

This is a fast-paced jammed-packed one-day workshop perfect for in service and/or professional development training. Teachers learn how to bring engineering into the classroom and keep students engaged by providing hands-on activities that are content rich and fun too! Based on activities in Teaching Engineering Made Easy: A Friendly Introduction to Engineering Activities for Middle School Teachers (2nd Edition), the activities will cover all of STEM and NGSS integration. Teachers can either use engineering as a way to enhance their teaching of science or they can teach “engineering” as the application of math, science, and technology.

This can also be two day workshop that covers both books one and two.

More Information


4. GLEE (Girls Love Exploring Engineering) Summer Camp and Simultaneous Professional Development

Audience: 30 Middle School Girls and Ten K-12 Teachers, 5 days – 7 hours each day

GLEE is a summer camp for middle school girls facilitated by teachers that are simultaneously learning to facilitate engineering activities.

How it works:  On Monday, teachers learn several activities while the girls do ice breakers, watch videos and be entertained by other facilitators, college engineering and high school students.  From Tuesday-Friday, the teachers, armed with the activities they learned and constructed on Monday, team facilitate the activities with the girls. During the week, when the girls have a field trip, watch videos, or listen to panel discussions (basically every spare minute), the teachers go back into training. When the girls go home, the teachers refine the activities and discuss integration into their classrooms.  Historically, by the last day of the camp, most (95% +) of the girls said they wanted to be engineers and the teachers go back to their classes with increased confidence and bundles of materials to implement more engineering education into their instruction.

More Information


Engineer Poem

A student, inspired by my book, Is There an Engineer Inside You? wrote a poem that was featured in A Celebration of Poets – California Grades 7-12. To my delight, she mailed me an autographed copy of the book with a sticky note highlighting her page. Below is her poem. She would be in 11th grade now – I wonder if she still wants to be an engineer?


“I wanna be an engineer so flippin’ bad”

I’d learn all the math I’d never had

I wanna be on the cover of Science magazine

Standing next to Einstein, that’s my dream

And every time I close my eyes, they’re handing me the Nobel Prize

A different lecture every day, you’ll pray, I’ll say,

“The world will look so clear, the day I’m an engineer!”

I’ll be studying biology and making no apology

That my intense theology is saving our geology

The world will be a better place, ’cause I am keeping up the pace

To serve the poor and human race; the scientists are in my face

Asking me what’s in my brain and how I’ve stayed so very sane

Through countless hours not in vane, ’cause my life’s work is “Cure Your Pain.”

I’m global with experiment; I turn down worthless merriment

My focus is to make a dent repairing all the detriment

So keep me in your watchful eye, I promise friends, I’ll save the sky

And one day with relief you’ll sigh,

“She went and solved the complex task that government had tried to mask.”

And now, our world, will surely bask in what I made inside my flask

Remorseful tears that weep so bad are memories of what we had

My billboard will proclaim the ad, “I wanna be an engineer so flippin’ bad”

Daniela, Grade 8

Twin Peaks Middle School

Famous Women Engineers

Every now and then, I like to take a step back and appreciate how far we’ve come in engineering and technology. Each time I do this I’m completely amazed that I can print things in plastic in my 3D printer, build robots that will follow my instructions and create my own rubber stamps in my laser cutter. I love the Maker and DIY cultures but also respect that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Without the discoveries of the past, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Below is a short list of famous women who have lead or are leading the way.

  • Heather Knight is a pioneer in the growing field of social robotics which investigates ways in which robots could have an impact on our everyday lives. With degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, she is known as a social roboticist and is constantly thinking about new ways to make robots charismatic, giving them the necessary personality and social skills to interact with humans in meaningful ways.
  • Dr. Catherine Mohr, a mechanical engineer, is developing the next generation of surgical robots and robotic procedures that allow patients to heal faster and better. She is pushing the boundaries of medicine with her research in robotic-assisted surgery.
  • Ada Byron Lovelace collaborated with Charles Babbage, the Englishman credited with inventing the forerunner of the modern computer. She wrote a scientific paper in 1843 that anticipated the development of computer software (including the term software), artificial intelligence, and computer music. The U.S. Department of Defense computer language Ada is named for her.
  • Amanda Theodosia Jones invented the vacuum method of food canning, completely changing the entire food processing industry.  Before the 1800’s, a woman could not get a patent in her own name. A patent was considered property and women could not own property in most states.  So, in a move typical of women inventors of the 19th century, Jones denied the idea came from her inventiveness, but rather from instructions received from her late brother from beyond the grave.
  • Dr. Angela Moran, a materials engineering scientist, conducts research to help assure that metals and other material that make up some the Navy’s most vital equipment (such as aircraft, sea vessels and weaponry) can withstand the stress and demands of their use.
  • Mary Engle Pennington revolutionized food delivery with her invention of an insulated train car cooled with ice beds, allowing the long-distance transportation of perishable food for the first time.
  • Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper in 1903. By 1916 they were standard equipment on all American cars.
  • Beulah Louise Henry was known as ‘the Lady Edison’ for the many inventions she patented in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Her inventions included a bobbinless lockstitch sewing machine, a doll with bendable arms, a vacuum ice cream freezer, a doll with a radio inside, and a typewriter that made multiple copies without carbon paper.  Henry founded manufacturing companies to produce her creations and made an enormous fortune in the process.
  • Hedy Lamarr, a 1940’s actress, invented a sophisticated and unique anti-jamming device for use against Nazi radar. While the U.S. War Department rejected her design, years after her patent had expired, Sylvania adapted the design for a device that today speeds satellite communications around the world. Lamarr received no money, recognition, or credit.
  • Grace Murray Hopper, a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, developed COBOL, one of the first high-level computer languages. Hopper is also the person who, upon discovering a moth that had jammed the works of an early computer, popularized the term “bug.” In 1991, Hopper became the first woman, as an individual, to receive the National Medal of Technology. One of the Navy’s destroyers, the U.S.S. Hopper, is named for her.
  • Stephanie Kwoleks discovered a polyamide solvent in 1966 that led to the production of “Kevlar,” the crucial component used in canoe hulls, auto bodies and, perhaps most importantly, bulletproof vests.
  • Ruth Handler was best known as the inventor of the Barbie doll, also created the first prosthesis for mastectomy patients.
  • Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar helped to develop the ceramic tiles that enable the space shuttle to survive re-entry. In 1985, she had an opportunity to test those tiles first hand as an astronaut aboard the shuttle.


A New Way to Motivate and Reward

Engineering design activities can be exciting, rewarding, colorful and creative. They can lead to higher self-esteem and help students develop better communication and teamwork skills. As a teacher, mentor, or advocate, how do you show those students that you stand behind them and are proud of the work they are doing?

If you like rubber stamps, you’ll love our new idea to motivate, congratulate, reward or promote engineering.

Just released this week are our new engineering rubber stamps. Use these rubber stamps to decorate engineering journals, reward design projects, make your own gift tags, invitations and notes, decorate your robotics club scrapbook page and much more!

10stampsYou can also use as a tattoo – using washable ink, as a hand stamp to show entrance for an engineering event or you can embellish a T-shirt with fabric ink.

Stamps also make a great teacher gift!

I guarantee you won’t find engineering rubber stamps anywhere else.


  • Wooden handle with hourglass edges for a firm grip and easy placement.
  • Size: 1 inch deep x 2 inches wide.
  • Classic maple wood blocks.
  • Foam padding ensures even pressure.
  • Comes in a handy storage box with clear lid.
  • Design is an Engineering Education Service Center original.
  • Made in the United States.

More Information.

Have an idea for the perfect rubber stamp? Let me know!