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)

trainingbanner

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?

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.

Comments?

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.

Features:

  • 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!

STEM Poster Contest

STEM Inspirations Poster Contest Kickoff!

This year’s category is “STEM Inspirations” – Posters should depict careers that use science, technology, engineering and math concepts to recognize, prevent, and solve problems in society. Content can be on any STEM degree or field.

Posters should be fun, motivational and inspire students to pursue a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Contest deadline: 11:59pm November 7, 2014

Winners will be notified by November 14, 2014

To enter, visit: https://www.stemposters.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=7

View the 2005-2013 winning posters here

Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded to Women

Women increased their representation at the bachelor’s-degree level for the fourth straight year, earning 18.9 percent of degrees awarded in 2012, up from 17.8 percent in 2009. Women’s enrollment in bachelor’s degree programs has also increased slightly over the past few years, from 18.1 percent in 2010 to 18.9 percent in 2012. Based on enrollment trends, we expect to see the percentage of women receiving an engineering bachelor’s degree to increase slightly over the next few years. The percentage of engineering master’s degrees going to women reached a 10-year high of 23.1. Over the past decade, however, that percentage has been relatively stable, dipping only to a low of 21.9 in 2004. The percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to women rose slightly over 2011 to 22.2, and represents an increase of almost 5 percent since 2003. Based on enrollment trends, we expect the percent of doctoral degrees awarded to women to remain about the same over the next few years.

wienumbersSource: ASEE Databytes

Where do College Graduates Work?

The U.S. Census released an interactive map of where college graduates work.

This interactive graphic allows you to explore the relationship between college majors and occupations. The length of each circle segment shows the proportion of people graduating in each college major and employed in each occupation group. The thickness of the lines between majors and occupations indicates the share of people in that major-occupation combination. Lines highlighted in color show the proportion of college graduates who work in STEM.
collegeworkers
By hovering over a college major on the STEM Majors or Non-STEM Majors tab, you can see which occupations these graduates work in. You can also hover over an occupation to see which majors they hire from. These graphics show that only a minority of STEM majors are employed in STEM.

This visualization also lets you look at college major and employment patterns by sex, race, and Hispanic origin. It allows you to compare the relative size of each college major and occupation, as well as the proportion who are employed in STEM by these demographic characteristics. Comparing the graphics for men and women who are STEM majors, for example, we see that men are more likely to major in engineering and are more likely to be employed in STEM occupations.

http://www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/stem/stem-html/

New Training Dates Set

Our Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) events are extremely popular! 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.

 

This November, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a Train-the-Trainer workshop for holding your own Mother/Daughter TEA events. This is an opportunity to become a certified TEA trainer. Being a certified trainer enables you to use our materials, resources and marketing connections to host an unlimited number of TEAs 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. After training on Friday, we will have the unique opportunity to attend and team teach an actual event. Not only will you become a certified TEA trainer, you will see an event in action and solidify the concepts learned the previous day. You will facilitate your community events with increased confidence and know-how.

Dates: Nov 7-8, 2014

Location: Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, MI

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

Insight From Women Deans

Below is an excerpt from “Expert Industry and School Insights for Engineers from Women Deans.”

Cherry Murray: Dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Dr Barbara Boyan – Dean at Virginia Commonwealth’s School of Engineering, Nada Marie Anid: Dean of New York Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, and Dr. Candis Claiborn – Dean at Washington State University’s College of Engineering and Architecture provide their perspectives on getting an engineering education and the job market.

View the article to see the answers to questions such as:

  1. Why are engineers integral to the American economy and infrastructure? What would happen without them?
  2. Do you believe modern engineers are more important to technological innovation or infrastructure? Why?
  3. How has the job market changed through the Great Recession for the engineering sector?

  4. Which engineering disciplines are most in demand in the market?

  5. Which engineering careers do most students move into?

  6. Why do you think high school students should study engineering?

 

Know Your Community

I read the article below at first nodding my head in agreement. After a few minutes, I came to realize that while the message may be true for some girls, it’s not true for all. Marketing engineering, technology and computer science careers to women is not a one size fits all prospect.

The article states that we use pink, curly fonts, and butterflies too much to bridge the gender divide. That we assume we need to turn technology into something girly to make it attractive.

How not to attract women to coding: Make tech pink – SFGate.

I personally can relate to this. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and was not attracted to pink media. I was much happier playing with my brother’s LEGO than Barbie and I wouldn’t have been attracted to pink LEGO either. I wanted to be taken seriously and knew that wouldn’t happen if my game wasn’t on the same field as all the boys on the block. As I grew older and gained confidence, I became much more attracted to color. Today, I prefer the teal, purple and tangerine LEGO blocks. Is that because I understand that I don’t have to be like the boys to make a valuable contribution? That different contributions are not less valuable?

From promoting engineering all over the country and facilitating over 80 Mother/Daughter TEA Workshops (engineering events for Mother and Daughters) I can say, without equivocation, that one size does not fit all. Some girls love fancy script and a girly atmosphere and some prefer a gender neutral environment. This also varies greatly by geography and community.

The best approach to reaching girls is to know your community and have a sense for what is interesting, what has worked in the past and what hasn’t been tried. If pink flyers with curly fonts work in your community, keep using them. If you find you aren’t getting enough girls to sign up for your program(s), change how you market. Just like engineering design, marketing is also an evolving process. What worked last year might not work this year. Test your messages, evaluate and redesign if necessary.

 

100K Book Give-Away Round 2

ITAEIY4_300x450Last year, I joined forces with nine amazing Universities and organizations who wanted to promote engineering careers and motivate students to pursue engineering. Together, we gave away close to 8,000 copies of Is There an Engineer Inside You?, the leading book on engineering careers. 6,000 copies of the book were distributed across the nation and another 2000 were downloaded from partner websites. Student competitions and events that received books were BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology), Seaperch, Ability One and the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Books were also donated to teachers and distributed at professional development workshops and conferences. Partners donated books to teachers, schools, guidance counselors and students in their local communities.

As we enter year two of the give-away, I hope to reach even more students and teachers by expanding the program and improving the book. Here’s how:

  1. Encouraging Partner Success – This year partners will be able to choose events in their community for book distribution. This can be a student or educator event. Up to 300 books can be requested. In addition, these books can have their logo on the front and/or back cover(s)! See samples.
  2. Expanding the Program – Last year, we gave away books to students at national student competitions. This year we will expand the recipients to educators and mentors who promote STEM and can disseminate the information to reach an even larger audience.  In addition to the books distributed in partner communities, I will also distribute to several key competitions and conferences.
  3. Improving the Book – I have written three new sections. Instead of covering 38 types of engineering and engineering technology, it now covers 41 types. New additions include: Industrial Engineering Technology, Fire Protection Engineering, and Fire Protection Engineering Technology.
  4. Each partner’s logo and website will be included on the cover page and in the acknowledgements.

The 100K Book Give-Away is an amazing program designed to help you easily expand your outreach, save money, save time, and provide a proven reference to students, parents, educators, counselors and mentors in your community. Deadline to become a partner is August 8, 2014.

More Information

Apply to receive books for your STEM event.

 

What’s Your Inspiration?

What started you on the path to engineering or your current career? Can you identify a moment, person or thing that made you change lanes, take a turn or stopped you in your tracks?

17 years old

17 years old

Last year, I gave a keynote in Kansas City for Science Pioneers. A few minutes into it, I talked about my first car – how much fun it was to try to fix it, the book that made it possible, the Flower Power mechanics and how I knew I wanted a cleaner and more diverse career. That car was a 1962 VW Bug and lead to one of the biggest ah-ha moments in my life.

From wanting it to drive better, I learned that I had mechanical aptitude, I could rebuild an engine if the instructions were good enough, troubleshooting was fun, and a book could change your life.

holdingbugLast week, to my delight, a small box that contained a shiny red VW Bug came in the mail. As I looked at it and took my trip down memory lane, I remembered how much that car inspired me. Without that experience, how would I have discovered my mechanical ability? Would I have this love affair with books? Would I be writing this today without that experience?

Thank you Paul for reminding me about how I got here and encouraging me to continue my own journey. We are all inspired to become who we are by something or someone. Make some time for yourself to remember, appreciate and share the experience. You never know who you may inspire with your story.