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!

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:

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.
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.

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.


Tracking and Measuring

tea2011One of the most difficult aspects of providing outreach to middle school students is tracking and measuring your success. It’s difficult to follow each students’ progress (interest in a STEM career) through high school and if they move out of your district, it’s practically impossible.


I have said many times that the Mother/Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) is one of the best events that I have ever seen at getting girls interested in STEM careers.

Last weekend, I received this email from a happy Mom:

glee2013Dear Celeste, My daughter is home from college for the weekend. You had a direct impact on her back in 2010 during the “Mother-Daughter Technology Tea” at Ridgeline Middle School in Yelm. At the time she was only about 14 years old. She is currently majoring in Technology at WWU. I am so proud of her and thankful to you for your inspiration, insight, and encouragement. You are a blessing to young women everywhere. Thank you for exposing our daughters to a wonderful and fulfilling career path.”

Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I’m so thankful that I have a career that helps me make this type of impact.

If you are involved in outreach, keep the faith. You never know what may land in your inbox when you least expect it.

iPhone app for Engr and Engr Tech Careers

ITAEIYapplogoBrand new in iTunes is the app “Is There an Engineer Inside You?

This is a great resource for teachers, administrators, parents and students. It covers 40 different types of engineering and engineering technology degrees with videos, job descriptions, salary expectations, scholarships and a school locator.

It’ll help teachers, administrators and parents understand the differences between 40 types of engineering and the opportunities available.

It’ll help students figure out what kind of engineer they want to be.

So head over the the App Store and get your copy. It’ll be the best $2 you’ve spent in a while.

And, please Share far and wide!

Engineering Exploration Day

sumner4 sumner3 sumner2 sumner1Last weekend I had the privilege of facilitating an Engineering Exploration Day for a school district in Washington State. If you follow my work you know about the Mother Daughter TEA (Technology Engineering Aptitude) workshops. In the Mother Daughter TEA workshop, Moms and their middle school daughters complete engineering projects together and learn about valuable, high-wage opportunities in the engineering industry. They hear about how women are impacting the field and get insight into career opportunities they may enjoy. The Mother/ Daughter TEA event was founded to encourage young women to take an interest in pursuing a career in engineering.

Every year, I hear from parents that also want their boys to have the same opportunity. As a result, last weekend we debuted “Engineering Exploration Day.” In this workshop, we had middle school girls and boys, moms and dads. We stuck to the same model of four hours on Saturday morning and built cranes, flingers and boats. The workshop moved along quickly and everyone stayed engaged. We had a great time.

If you are trying to recruit for your GTT, STEM 101 or any other engineering classes, this is a great workshop to hold because by the end of it, you’ll have the parental support at home that is so critical to students making good choices.

More Information…

Goodbye Posters

If you haven’t noticed yet, there are no posters in the EESC store any more.

stempostersbanner3 Today and all of May is the Grand Opening Celebration of

I felt the poster contest we hold each year needed new energy and a broader scope. From that search, was born. The posters are now a fundraiser for the Circuit Chargers Robotics team at the Tulsa Engineering Academy at Memorial High School in Tulsa, OK. The Circuit Chargers are also known as FIRST Robotics Team 932. (FIRST = For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The mission of is to provide quality graphics related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) that will inspire today’s youth to learn more about these interesting and lucrative subjects.

So please take a look, bookmark the site and visit often as robotics, science, technology, engineering and math posters are added over time.

Jailhouse Teaching

I was happy to receive a notice yesterday that one of the teachers that came to three of my professional development workshops in Tulsa is using the Indy Card Car (mechanical engineering) activity from Teaching Engineering Made Easy to inspire her students.

A lesson from jail: Teacher goes into Tulsa Jail to help young prisoners get an education – Tulsa World: Education.

Hands-on activities have traditionally been good for keeping at-risk students engaged in school. Not only does Sherry Knight have the challenge of facilitating the activity, she also has tool constraints because, as she said, “you can’t use scissors in jail.”

Keep up the good work Sherri!

Presentations and Workshops

For 14 years, I’ve been providing presentations at various conferences and events. When I first started writing books, I never guessed this would become such a big part of what I do. I’m so lucky that I’m a gifted speaker. I’m fortunate that I can get up in front of 700 people and “sparkle” as one lady told me. I get energy from the audience and actually begin to calm down once I start talking. I know this is a gift.

Statistics from The Institute of Mental Health state:

Fear of Public Speaking Statistics Data
Fear of public speaking is known as Glossophobia
Percent of people who suffer from speech anxiety 74 %
Percent of women who suffer from speech anxiety 75 %
Percent of men who suffer from speech anxiety 73 %
Number of Americans who have a social phobia 5.3 Million
Number of Americans who have a fear of crowded or public places 3.2 Million

podium1Last year, I spoke at The University of Tennessee’s 175th Anniversary for the College of Engineering. It was an amazing event!  After being delayed more than 24 hours in route, I managed to make it to the event only 15 minutes late. When it was my chance to speak and I looked out at the crowd of 700+ people, I felt the calm come over me and suddenly knew what I had to say and why it was so important. My message is strong and unwavering. The bottom line? An engineering education is the best education that anyone can get. It teaches you how to think and solve problems. These skills help everywhere you go and in everything that you do. Engineers can do anything!

Check out for more about my presentations and workshops. I can help make your event memorable and successful.

ITEEA Booth 230

If you are going to ITEEA next week, stop by to say hello.

I’ll be in booth 230, right across from PLTW. I’m giving away free pins to everyone who tells me they read this blog each week.

I’ll also be giving a presentation on Thursday in the Exhibitor Showcase from 12:00-12:50 about Passport to Engineering – ways to use it and how it can benefit your students. We’ll be giving away freebies and by attending, you also have the chance to win a free copy.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Future Engineers Day

I gave the keynote presentation last week at a Future Engineers Day event in Oregon.

The lunchtime organization of the event was outstanding. The room was filled with 350 students, 70+ engineers and 50+ round tables that seated 8-10 people each.

Each engineer received a seating assignment so there was at least one engineer at each table. Lunch was filled with the students hearing about an engineer’s experiences and being able to ask questions and talk about their aspirations.

Are you involved in a similar event? How do you encourage students?

Engineers Can Do Anything!

Engineers Can Do AnythingOur most popular product of all time, the DVD “Engineers Can Do Anything”, is now available for streaming in the Passport to Engineering system. You can still purchase the DVD on our website and from Amazon or now you can save $15 and stream it. Log in and play it from anywhere. The video is also available for students to watch independently on the DVD version of Passport to Engineering.