An Engineer Must Engineer

I’ve been running the EESC in Oregon for 13 years. But the company arose from ashes in Louisiana four years before it officially opened. So yes, for 17 years, I’ve been promoting an engineering education as loudly and as often as possible.

But no matter how much we, as professionals, enjoy what we do, everyone needs to recharge. Professors take sabbaticals, most of the world takes vacations and entrepreneurs start new businesses. I’m taking a step back from the EESC right now with the hopes of taking two steps forward in the future. I’m looking for inspiration that I can bring back to the company.

In life, I crave color combined with precision and beauty. I like beautiful machines, gadgets or devices that move or surprise. That’s probably what drew me to engineering in the first place. Thinking back, my first interest in engineering, (even before The Six Million Dollar Man – my biomedical inspiration) was to become a watchmaker. The consistent rhythm of a clock or watch was comforting.

electroplating2Two weeks ago, I opened Celeste Watch Company. The goal was to make artistic timepieces that are precise and elegant. To infuse more color and technological design in a wrist watch. I wanted to make wearable art using mixed materials on the dial or face of the watch that you don’t normally see.

The learning curve has been enormous – more so that I ever thought possible (but that’s what I wanted.) However, there is a peace that comes over me during the process. Something that happens during design, fabrication and assembly that makes me feel like I’m in a groove, doing what I’m supposed to be doing at exactly the right time. I handcraft the dial with my laser cutter, electroplate vibrant colors in the cases and background of the faces, and sew the leather bands by hand. I smile every time I make one.

But never fear, the EESC isn’t going anywhere. In fact, you can expect to see more “time” related activities in the future – starting with “Pacing a Pendulum” in The Big Book of Engineering Challenges. And how about a kinetic sculpture kit? If it’s based on time, you will probably see it here very soon.

Good News!

BigBookCoverGood news today! The Big Book of Engineering Challenges is shipping tomorrow! That’s a few days earlier than expected! Thank you to everyone who placed preorders! The response to this book has been so good that we are almost out of the free engineering activity books you can get with your preorder. There are just a few electrical and aerospace books left so if you want one, be sure to order right away. The free book offer is good until July 31 at midnight.

In the near future, look for materials kits that go along with some of our favorite projects in The Big Book of Engineering Challenges. Because eighty-five percent of this book are brand new, never seen before activities, your next school year is going to be more fun and enticing for students as you dig in and widen your activity base.

And don’t forget, if you’d like to supercharge your engineering instruction, we also offer professional development that goes along with The Big Book of Engineering Challenges. It’s a chance to hit the ground running, increase your confidence in engineering design and/or get different ideas and perspectives. These jam-packed and fast-paced workshops are dynamic, inspiring, cost effective and fun!

Ethnic Makeup of the Engineering Student Body is Slowly Changing

Hispanics and Asian-Americans increase their share of undergraduates.
ethnic

A comparison of undergraduate enrollment data drawn from the 2005 and 2014 ASEE Profiles surveys indicates that engineering programs in the United States have grown more ethnically diverse over the past decade. While the proportion of Caucasians, the largest group, has declined from 62 percent in 2005 to 56 percent in 2014, Hispanics and Asian Americans – but not African Americans – slightly increased their share in the entering full-time undergraduate student population. African Americans’ share shrank by 1 percentage point between 2005 and 2014.

Source: June 2015 ASEE Connections Newsletter

Grateful

Penram-editionIt’s official! As of May 10, 2015 my book Is There an Engineer Inside You? is available in an Asian Edition in India. It was published by Penram International Publishing in Mumbai.

This is a feather in my cap and I couldn’t be happier or more grateful for the opportunity. However, the resounding message, the loudest trumpet, and practical encouragement from this good fortune is to remember to follow your dreams. If you write a book and all publishers refuse to publish it, prominent people refuse to write a Foreword, reviews tell you it won’t sell or isn’t needed — if you believe in what you are doing strongly enough, the fruits of your labors will eventually ripen and roll downhill.

My celebration will continue all summer long.

Professional Development Opportunity

I’m about to make the most amazing offer that I’ve ever made.

It’s free and there are no strings attached.

You even get to take home an Engineering PowerPack and classroom materials kits such as the Prosthetic Hand and Protect Your Noggin. Almost $600 worth of materials totally free. Are you in?

There are only 10 instructor slots available. First come, first serve.

Program Name: GLEE (Girls Love Exploring Engineering) Summer Camp and Simultaneous Professional Development

How it works:  On Monday, you will learn several activities while the girls do ice breakers, watch videos and interact with other facilitators, a college engineering student and several high school students.  From Tuesday-Friday, armed with the activities you learned and constructed on Monday, you 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), you go back into training. When the girls go home, we will refine the activities and discuss integration into your classroom or situation.

Historically, by the last day of the camp, 95% of the girls said they wanted to be engineers! You will go back to your classroom with increased confidence and bundles of materials to implement more engineering education into your instruction.

Audience: Late Elementary, Middle and Early High School Teachers, 5 days- 7 hours each day.

Location: Memorial High School, Tulsa, OK

Register Here

Engineering and STEM Resources

On our website, in addition to Kits, Blast Packs, Books, DVDs, Rubber Stamps, Pins, Presentations and Labs are resources for students, parents, teachers, schools, and mentors. With summer on the horizon, now is a great time to explore engineering career paths and supporting opportunities.

Summer Camp Directory – If you have a camp you want to add to the list, simply send us a listing, formatted similar to the others, and we will post it. There is no cost for camps or families.

Competitions – K-12 engineering, robotics and technology competitions.

Engineering Scholarships – This page will always be under construction as new scholarships become available and current scholarship are awarded. Bookmark this page so you can come back often and check for recently available opportunities! If you know of any available scholarships not listed on this page email us and we will list it here.

Women in Engineering Programs – Directory of colleges with Women in Engineering program offices.

Directory of Engineering Programs – There are many factors to consider when choosing a college program. One of the most important is whether or not that program is accredited. Accreditation assures that a program has met certain quality standards. To employers, graduate schools, and licensure and certification boards, graduation from an accredited program signifies adequate preparation for entry into the profession. In fact, many of these groups require graduation from an accredited program as a minimum qualification.

Directory of Engineering Technology Programs – Directory of colleges that offer associate and bachelor degrees in engineering technology.

Engineering Society Directory – Find support, scholarships and guidance for your degree choice.

Other Links and Resources to All Things Engineering – Everything else!

Call for Reviewers

RobotMakerscover801x522Would you be interested in reviewing Robot Makers? If you have a blog, a newsletter, magazine, ezine or website and would be willing to write and publish a review of this new book, just drop me an email with your address and I’ll send a copy your way.

If you want the book, along with a PowerPoint you can customize and use to talk about careers in robotics, order from the EESC before May 1st.

Build it, and They Will Come

Build what? A robot of course!

You may know about robots because you watched a deadly cyborg try to take over the world on television. Or, you are involved in or have seen a robotics competition, played with a Mindstorms LEGO set, or attended a science, engineering, or maker event. Although there are many definitions of a robot, in Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics, a robot is defined as an electromechanical device that can react to its environment and perform operations either on a tether by remote control, autonomously by wireless or Bluetooth connections, or as a hybrid of the two systems.

RobotMakerscover801x522In Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics, you will learn about working in the field of robotics, how it is exciting, and how it is getting more so every day. Because of technological leaps in the computer industry, many new opportunities are emerging. Engineers, programmers, and technicians design and maintain robots, research new applications for robots, and assist people in doing tasks that are less desirable. As such, robots have enormous potential for society. Equipped with the proper sensors, robots can inspect the quality of meat, measure the pollution emissions of manufacturing plants, assist in surgery, detect corrosion in sewer pipes, investigate the depths of a volcano, or assess the speed of a tornado. Robots can be used to improve the standard of living and provide more information about the planet or even the solar system.

Robot Makers explores the possible opportunities available for a career in robotics. It offers and provides students with information to help them determine the course of study they should pursue in high school as well as through college helping each student to make a career choice that will be rewarding as well as offer a life-long learning experience.

Visit the Engineering Education Service Center today to acquire your pre-publication copy of Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics. While there, you can review the table of contents and read a free sample of Chapter One. Take a few extra minutes to visit the other services offered at the Engineering Education Service Center (EESC). The EESC is an engineering education company that specializes in providing products for K-12 schools to teach and share the fun of engineering. From curriculum to books, DVDs, kits, apps and other motivational products, the EESC aims to make engineering understandable and accessible to everyone.

Pre-publication order bonuses!

  1. Everyone who orders before the May 1 publication date will receive a PowerPoint presentation on “Choosing a Career in Robotics” that you can use to talk to students about the available career choices. It’s colorful, graphically powerful, and is designed to save you time. As an extra bonus, on this particular PowerPoint, there are no copyright restrictions – it’s yours to use freely. You can edit it, pass it around or post it online – it’s up to you.
  2. For everyone who orders at least four copies (every library needs a copy), you will receive a Textrix Remote Control or Tetrix Autonomous Robotic Engineering Activity Guide. These guides, published by Pitsco and valued at $39.95, help students learn about robot engineering, simple machines, torque, power, and problem solving. Activities guide students in creating robots that draw, dance, herd golf balls, and more. These full-color guides can be used alone or as a supplement to current curriculum. Supplies are limited. One book per customer.

More Information

My Firstborn

ITAEIY4_300x450I refer to Is There an Engineer Inside You? as my firstborn and the genesis of who I became and what I do today. I began writing it when I was struggling in engineering school. It’s the book that I wish I’d had when making the decision to go to school.

That was back in 1997. The first edition was released in 1999. In 2000, the book was the #1 Engineering Career Guide at Amazon.com and I was asked to speak at a NASA conference.

Sixteen years later, I’m proud to say that it’s in the fourth edition and now published in not only the U.S. but also India and China. Seventeen colleges, schools, and organizations partnered with me last year to give away thousands to copies to students who want to be engineers or are considering an engineering degree.

It’s been, and continues to be, an amazing ride!

Robot Makers!

Robot Makers: An Essential guide to Choosing a Career in RoboticsAt long last, my new book, two years in the making, is finally ready! Robot Makers: An Essential Guide to Choosing a Career in Robotics is here and ready to help students choose a career in robotics. Robot making is a practical and engaging way for students to learn STEM subjects. Robotic competitions allow students to apply the skills inside or outside of the classroom. The experience is ideal preparation for entering the workforce, which is why participating students are frequently offered internship and employment opportunities while still in school.

If you have students that build robots, enjoy the experience and want more, Robot Makers is essential to helping them learn about the abundant opportunities in robotics, the many types of robots, what robots can do for us, what degree is needed to work as a roboticist, and how much money they can make.

The careers that support the industry offer opportunities to be creative and are challenging, prestigious, and satisfying.

In my excitement to share this title, I have two special give-aways for my readers.

  1. Everyone who orders before the May 1 publication date will receive a PowerPoint presentation on “Choosing a Career in Robotics” that you can use to talk to students about the available career choices. It’s colorful, has great pictures, and is designed to save you time. As an extra bonus, on this particular PowerPoint, there are no copyright restrictions – it’s yours to use freely. You can edit it, pass it around or post it online – it’s up to you.
  2. For everyone who orders at least four copies (every library needs a copy), you will receive a Textrix Remote Control or Autonomous Robotic Engineering Activity Guide. These guides, published by Pitsco and valued at $39.95, help students learn about robot engineering, simple machines, torque, power, and problem solving. Activities guide students in creating robots that draw, dance, herd golf balls, and more! These full-color guides can be used alone or as a supplement to current curriculum. Supplies are limited. One book per customer.

The Table of Content and a Glimpse of Chapter One are Online.

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: http://www.discovere.org/discover-engineering

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. http://www.stemposters.com

If you run contests or competitions and need inexpensive student prizes, check out our colorful and fun engineering pins. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=62

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. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=33_67

If you are an engineer planning to visit a classroom, take a look at our eWeek kits to make your visit memorable and dynamic. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=97

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